Publix Insurance Agency Blog
©Copyright 2020 PUBLIX INSURANCE AGENTS All Rights Reserved
Publix Insurance Agency Blog
Women’s roles in the workplace have changed over the last 50 years. As family dynamics have shifted, and fewer women are marrying and having children, they have had a wider variety of options for work away from home. Among these options, a newer trend is truck diving. The Wall Street Journal reports that between 2010-2018, the number of female truck drivers in the force has increased by 68%. Though this sounds like a large number, a closer look demonstrates otherwise. According to 2018 statistics from the American Trucking Association, approximately 234 000 long-haul truckers are women, making up only approximately 6.6% of the 3.5 million-person workforce. Nonetheless, the numbers are rising, slowly but surely.
Women are drawn to the industry because they seek job flexibility, have a sense of adventure, and, as there is a current driver shortage that is anticipated to increase to nearly 175, 00 drivers by the year 2026, they are finding job security with flexibility. They enjoy the autonomy of deciding when, where, and how much they want to work, can take time off for family needs, and make a good income without the fear of the incurred debts of college. Better yet, with experience and adequate funding, women are also beginning to enjoy the freedom of being their own bosses, either purchasing their own trucks or beginning their own fleets.
As is true for many male-dominated industries, women truckers still face concerns for sexism,
discrimination, and personal safety. To counter this, they are joining together to strengthen their
presence and bring these issues to the forefront. The Women in Trucking Association, for example, is a non-profit organization that, according to their mission statement, “encourages the employment of women, promotes their accomplishments, and minimizes obstacles facing female drivers.” Here, they provide resources for women truck drivers, networking opportunities, job opportunities, and
information and suggestions for business owners to increase their diversity.
The disparity between the number of men and women in the trucking workforce creates some “growing pains” with regard to training. Women drivers are currently pushing to be trained by other women drivers, who are, unfortunately, in short supply. Generally, a new driver is generally required to train under an experienced driver to prove their ability and obtain the necessary feedback to be an effective driver. This process, depending on the company, may take up to several weeks, requiring the drivers to ride together, and share a sleeping berth in the truck, which provides little privacy and a high potential for discomfort when a trainer is a man. Legislators across several states are working with women leaders in trucking to help resolve this issue, which may, in turn, further increase the number in the industry.
Women are currently helping to change the culture of trucking, encouraging truck stops to provide
better and more nutritious food options, safer sleeping areas, more fitness/gym rooms in truck stops, something that all drivers can benefit from. Perhaps the future of trucking is female?