Why aren’t there more women truck drivers? According to this CDL Career Now article Women in Trucking, women makeup 47 % of the overall workforce in the United States. Yet females account for less than 6 % of the truck drivers in America and fewer than 15% of all jobs in the trucking industry. In an industry painfully short of drivers why aren’t there more women truck drivers?
“Today, American Trucking Associations Chief Economist Bob Costello released the findings of his latest report into the driver shortage, warning the trucking industry could be short 50,000 drivers by the end of 2017. “In addition to the sheer lack of drivers, fleets are also suffering from a lack of qualified drivers, which amplifies the effects of the shortage on carriers,” Costello said. “This means that even as the shortage numbers fluctuate, it remains a serious concern for our industry, for the supply chain and for the economy at large.” — New Report Says National Shortage of Truck Drivers to Reach 50,000 This Year
The trucking industry is short staffed, and yet there are few women drivers – it just doesn’t make sense, does it? So, what holds women back from joining the industry and what can trucking companies do about it?
- Create female-oriented training. Some carriers have instituted CDL training geared toward women with more truck driving simulation time, women driver support groups, sensitivity and sexual harassment training for the entire staff, and even self-defense classes.
- Fund scholarships. More than one trucking company has instituted scholarships for females graduating from High School as well as for women who desire a career change.
- Train spouses. Encourage male drivers whose wife’s show interest in driving, to help their spouse take the next step.
- Female restrooms. You know those truck stop restrooms with showers geared toward attracting over the road drivers? Did you know some of them don’t have facilities for women? So, even if it’s a male and female team do not frequent truck stops that don’t provide for women.
- Interior cab cameras. If a male trainer knows he might be recorded he may be less likely to cross the bounds of professionalism. Sexual harassment has been an industry-wide concern.
Why Women Truck Drivers?
Besides the fact that the industry is short 50,000 drivers, women make excellent drivers. Here are a few facts that might perk your interest as well as surprise you, remember the old jokes about women drivers being less safe the men drivers. It’s not true and never has been.
- Women truck drivers are three times less likely to get in accidents than men.
- Females are four times more likely to pass their CDL test.
- Women are five times less likely to break traffic laws — Truck Driver Money Saving Tips — The challenges of female Drivers.
- They have less anger management issues including less likely to be consumed by road rage. Women don’t have to always be right they’re willing to compromise and forgive.
- Women, in general, are better at managing the task switching of multiple tasks. Try raising children.
- Females are detailed oriented, which is good when dealing with dispatchers, customers, and paperwork.
If the trucking industry wants to alleviate some of their severe driver shortage, there might be no better place to start than attracting women drivers. Many carriers have figured this out, and are working at making the industry a better fit for females, and those that do will be ahead of the game. The time for women drivers is now.
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