It has been found that women drivers are 20 percent less likely than male counterparts to be involved in a crash. Women make up about 47 percent of the United States’ labor force but unfortunately in the trucking industry, women are sorely underrepresented. In trucking they make up:
- 24 percent of all transportation and warehousing jobs
- 6.6 percent of truck drivers
- 12.5 percent of workers in truck transportation
- 8 percent of freight firm owners
As a good first step towards increasing the number of women in trucking, a bipartisan group of legislators, Representatives Mike Gallagher (R-WI-08) and Sharice Davids (D-KS-03) in the House and Senators. Jerry Moran (R-KS), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Jon Tester (D-MT) in the Senate, sponsored the Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act.
The bills would, among other things, establish a “Women of Trucking Advisory Board” to better identify barriers to entry for women in the trucking industry. The board would be responsible for coordinating formal education and training programs, establishing mentorship opportunities for women in the industry and enhancing outreach initiatives that are exclusive to women.
The Covid-19 pandemic has shown Americans how vital and vulnerable the nation’s supply chain is. Furthermore, the pandemic has turbo charged an e-commerce boom. Over the next decade it is estimated that over one million new drivers will need to be hired to meet our nation’s freight demand. In a letter of support for the bills The American Trucking Associations (ATA) laid out massive need for professional freight haulers, the fact that over 80 percent of communities in the US rely exclusively on trucks for their freight needs (In New York City it is closer to 90 percent), and that the competitive pay and compensation packages available in the industry will improve gender pay parity, provided more Women are encouraged to join trucking.
An organization that provides fantastic resources and benefits is Women in Trucking, whose mission to encourage employment, address obstacles and celebrate success.