There are many challenges faced by women in trucking industries. Know what are they in detail...
Transportation - a predominantly male-dominated industry. Ain’t it?
Truck drivers - A bearded massive man with a ball cap on his head, wearing a baggy flannel shirt over blue jeans. Is that the same picture that comes in your mind when you hear of a truck driver? The gender gap in the trucking industry has grown limitless that we find it hard to even picture women truck driver. Reports suggest that there are only 6% of women in the trucking industry. And over the past 15 years, there had been only a slight and hardly noticeable increase in the number of women in this industry (from 4.5 to 6%). How sad!?
According to the recent reports, to keep up with the demands, there is a need for 90,000 new truck drivers. But there is another disheartening news that by 2026, there would be a shortage of almost 174,000 drivers in the USA. What does this mean? Evidently, we need more women in the trucking industry to fill the shortage. But why aren’t our women attracted to this sector of employment?
Women are found to be more attentive and cautious behind the wheel. Data has it that when compared to male truck drivers, female truck drivers tend to remain with the company for a longer time, have fewer preventable accidents, drive more miles, and log more hours. Thus, boosting the companies’ bottom lines.
Trucking presents one with a range of opportunities and amenities. The pay is good with lots of other facilities like insurance, flexibility, etc. But in spite of this, women make up only 6% of the workforce. What is keeping them from joining this occupation?
Women want to feel safe and secure in their working environment. Trucking industry lacks to deliver that. When it comes to restrooms, showers or sleeping options, women truck drivers face a lot of challenges and find it difficult to adjust with such a rough environment. Providing a secure and respectful environment to work may attract more women to this industry.
Women from any genre of the workplace have faced some or the other gender criticism. But when it comes to a highly male-dominant industry like transportation, the intensity is far more than the usual.
Living the life of women truck drivers means living a life on the roads. Technically, there is quite less time spent with their beloved ones. Women are hesitant to such professions where one has to sacrifice home life.
The pedals, seats and gauges of a truck are generally designed for typical male drivers. And average female drivers are 6 inches shorter and weigh 28% less than the male drivers making it difficult for them to attain better control over the vehicle.
The industry is taking note of these challenges and making it a point to bring more flexibility and compatibility to encourage diversity in their working population. Some changes have already been implemented and the life of women behind wheels is still improving. There are various non-profit associations who work dedicatedly in mending this gender gap and encouraging millennials into the industry. The future of women in the trucking industry is surely going to be far more promising.