Growth of Women in Trucking
Due to the massive truck driver shortage in the United States, trucking companies are struggling to recruit and retain good quality CDL drivers. This shortage is projected to continue to grow, but women are a demographic that is underrepresented in this industry. While women represent almost 50 percent of the labor force, they make up for less than 8 percent of professional truck drivers. However, women are a good match for the trucking industry. They are 20 percent less likely to be involved in a crash than men, and carriers report than women take better care of equipment, are easier to train and have superior customer service skills. Trucking companies are aware of the benefits of having more women working for them and are creating strategies to recruit and retain them. There are also a variety of reasons driving careers are piquing the female interest, including the increased demand for drivers and the absence of a gender wage gap. Although it’s still largely a male-dominated industry, the number of women in trucking has increased by 68 percent since 2010 and continues to rise.
[Women] are 20 percent less likely to be involved in a crash than men, and carriers report than women take better care of equipment, are easier to train and have superior customer service skills.
The Advancement of Women Truck Drivers
Trucking has traditionally been a man’s industry, but a rising number of women are interested in pursuing a career as a truck driver. At ITS, we have seen this firsthand. In fact, our number of female driver hires has more than doubled in 2019 to 12 percent, compared to 5 percent in 2018. Gender discrimination and gender pay gaps are a non-factor for those applying for trucking jobs, and ITS is no exception. We pride ourselves on being mindful of this and providing a work environment that is comfortable and welcoming for all drivers, both women and men. Additionally, we are a member of The Women in Trucking Organization allowing us to better recruit and retain female drivers as they challenge and change the industry.
Why Women Are Now Considering a Life on the Road
Becoming a truck driver can be an appealing choice for many women because it comes with a variety of benefits that other industries do not offer. For one thing, the starting salary in this industry is more than many entry-level industries, and women earn the same wages as their male counterparts. All drivers are paid the same way: by the mile, hourly, or sometimes by the load. Additionally, most companies offer performance bonuses based on safety, on-time percentage and fuel efficiency. While each company has a different way of calculating pay, it’s consistent with no room for gender gaps, discrimination or occupational segregation.
A driving career offers better benefits and stability than many other positions, and since there are so many different routes and lanes, there is something for everyone. Many women begin truck driving as a second career or as a team driver, when they have a husband or boyfriend who is a driver. Professional truck drivers get the chance to road trip and see the country as their jobs, which is a great opportunity to visit places you’ve never been. If you’re considering becoming a driver, be sure to check out Women in Trucking, a nonprofit that aims to bring gender diversity to the transportation industry, and our page about a day in the life of a truck driver for information on what the truck driver life is all about.
Most companies offer performance bonuses based on safety, on-time percentage and fuel efficiency. While each company has a different way of calculating pay, it’s consistent with no room for gender gaps, discrimination or occupational segregation.
The Future of Women in Trucking
Because the trucking industry has been skewed towards men for so long, it can be difficult for women to get a foot in the door. However, thanks greatly to organizations like Women in Trucking, which provides resources for women looking to get into this profession, the dynamic is slowly shifting. Ellen Voie, CEO and founder of Women in Trucking has helped contribute to this shift and the empowerment of women to take these roles. As companies continue to hire more women, they will need to make changes to their hiring processes and safety culture. Women prioritize safety and aren’t afraid to leave companies that require them to drive in poorly maintained vehicles or perform drop offs at poorly lit docks. Women in Trucking is working with companies to help recruit female drivers. They are also working with truck stops to improve safety and consistently host self-defense workshops for female drivers. With these useful resources and companies that are looking to increase the employment of women in trucking, the future looks very bright indeed.
Looking for a Truck Driving Job? Check Out our Current Driver Opportunities
We are currently seeking Class A CDL drivers to join our team. As an ITS driver, you’ll get competitive benefits, a 401k option with company match, national healthcare coverage, generous home time, paid holidays, paid time off—and most importantly, respect. Our drivers are more than just a number, they’re family. If you’re interested in joining the team, check out our truck driver jobs page for openings and apply today!