The trucking industry has long been seen as male-dominated, but women are making their presence felt and breaking down barriers in this sector. Women now make up 10% of the trucking community, according to Women in Trucking’s 2022 audit. Driver shortages and the demand for goods continue to rise, allowing women to take on the challenge of driving big rigs and significantly impacting the trucking industry. But why is this shift happening? The pandemic appears to have irrevocably shifted some industries, and transportation is one of them. Statistically, women working in service industries were laid off more aggressively during the pandemic or left their jobs. The comparison in salary boost is a winning factor, often affording women pay increases that they would never see otherwise.
The trucking industry has always faced a shortage of drivers, but the pandemic has seen many men not return to trucking. This positions women perfectly to address the problem. Encouraging more women to enter the field can bring new perspectives, ideas, and positive change to the industry, making it more inclusive and diverse. For example, Volvo is leading the way in changing their rigs to make the job less physically demanding and more comfortable. They have implemented ergonomically seats designed for all types of bodies and assisted steering. This is a positive shift for everyone. Some cultural shifts are also happening in the industry, such as more women in leadership positions and child-friendly environments. Many women also find that trucking offers a sense of independence and freedom, allowing them to be their own boss and work on their own terms.
According to the Women in Trucking Index, women bring a unique set of skills and advantages for the trucking industry. “First, they’re typically less likely to take risks and, therefore can be safer drivers than men. In addition, women generally possess strong multitasking and organizational skills, they are strong communicators, and they usually are patient, focused, and reliable. For these reasons and more, there has been a significant increase in female truck drivers for the past five years.” Research also shows that women are 20% less likely to get into accidents than their male counterparts.
Despite the progress that has been made, there are still challenges facing women in trucking. These include a lack of female-friendly truck stops and restrooms, as well as a shortage of female trucking mentors. However, organizations such as Women in Trucking are working to address these challenges and provide support and resources to women in the industry. Some apps such as Trucker Path, Women in Trucking’s Engage, and Dock411 help women make good choices about where they stop on the road. In addition, women can turn to social media and find trucking influencers for support and questions. The MyTrucker Pro community also has a community space for questions and advice supporting women.
As the industry continues to evolve, we can expect more women to enter this field and positively impact the industry and beyond. This shift is only just beginning. There is room for exciting changes to the industry and growth. We at MyTrucker Pro are looking forward to supporting this adjustment to the industry.
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