Updated: Mar 27
Revving up their engines and breaking through gender stereotypes, women are hitting the road in a male-dominated industry and showing the world that trucking is not just a man's job. From breaking down barriers to shattering glass ceilings, women in trucking are paving the way for a new generation of drivers and proving that anything is possible with determination and a little bit of grit.
Men have historically dominated the trucking industry, but women are increasingly making their mark in this field. Over the past few decades, women have been breaking down barriers and challenging gender stereotypes to pursue careers in trucking. Today, more and more women are entering the industry as drivers, mechanics, dispatchers, and executives, and they are making significant contributions to the field. In this blog, we'll explore how women have broken barriers in the trucking industry and paved the way for a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
CHALLENGES FACED BY WOMEN IN THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY:
Female truck drivers have faced numerous challenges and obstacles along the way, all while trying to prove that they belong behind the wheel of a big rig. Some of these are:
Gender Bias: From the beginning, female truckers faced a pervasive stereotype that they were not suited for the job. Also, people believed that driving a truck was too physically demanding and that women didn't have what it took to handle the rigors of the road. But women knew they could do the job and refused to let this stereotype hold them back. They spoke out against discrimination, advocated for equal treatment, and worked tirelessly to perfect their skills. Now we see more and more women joining the trucking workforce than ever before.
Work-Life Balance: Since women are seen as the ones who need to take care of their home and kids, while men are the breadwinners for the family, it becomes difficult for women to work. Especially in a job like trucking, where a person might be required to stay out for weeks, it seemed almost impossible for women to enter the workforce, let alone achieve success in the field.
Safety Concerns: Women faced safety concerns such as harassment, assault, and other risks while alone on the road. They also faced challenges accessing appropriate facilities like rest stops or truck stops, and some companies were hesitant to hire women due to safety concerns. Despite these obstacles, women in the trucking industry advocated for greater awareness and support around safety concerns, pushing for changes to facilities and resources to make them more accessible and safe. Even though things have changed a lot today, they still face these safety challenges to some extent.
The list of hurdles in the path of women toward their trucking career doesn't end, it goes on and on. However, despite these obstacles, women driving big rigs advocated for greater awareness and support around safety concerns, pushing for changes to facilities and resources to make them more accessible and safe.
THE IMPACT OF WOMEN IN THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY ON THE ECONOMY AND SOCIETY
Women have had a significant impact on the trucking industry. They bring diverse perspectives and experiences to the industry and have also helped challenge gender roles and assumptions about who can succeed in the field. They are helping to make the industry more diverse, safe, and efficient and are paving the way for more women to enter and succeed in the field. Women truck drivers are also bringing a new perspective to the industry and helping to shape its future.
Also, increasing numbers of women drivers choosing trucking as a career are helping to overcome the ongoing problem of the truck driver shortage. By recruiting and retaining more women drivers, trucking companies can expand their talent pool and ensure that they can meet customer demand.
The presence of women in the trucking industry can improve safety and efficiency as they tend to have fewer accidents, have better communication skills, are more meticulous about truck maintenance, and increase diversity, which can lead to more innovative ideas and solutions. As women continue to enter the trucking industry, their contributions to safety and efficiency will likely grow, positively impacting the industry and the economy.
Don’t forget to look at 5 Strategies for Retaining Truck Drivers.
FUTURE OF WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY:
The future belongs to women, and in the trucking industry, it looks promising as they continue to make strides in breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes. With more female truck drivers in the U.S. entering the industry and taking up leadership roles, the industry is becoming more diverse and dynamic. Moreover, there are many advantages of hiring female truck drivers as women's natural strengths in communication, attention to detail, and safety consciousness make them valuable assets in the trucking industry. As the industry continues to evolve with advancements in technology and shifting demands, the contributions of women in trucking will continue to grow and play a pivotal role in the industry's success. The future of women in trucking is bright and transformative, with the potential to drive innovation and growth in this crucial sector of the economy.
Trucking is no longer a field only for men; women, too, have been making strides in this industry. Rig on Wheels, a woman-owned truck driver recruiting agency that has been operating for 13 years, is a huge example of how women can function successfully and efficiently in this male-dominated industry. Its founder and CEO, Kameel E. Gaines’, leadership and commitment to inclusion and diversity have helped to break down barriers and create a more welcoming and supportive environment for women in the trucking industry. Her work is an inspiring example and serves as a reminder of the powerful impact that women can have on the trucking industry and the broader workforce.
Also, look at this blog about the Top 6 Reasons Truck Drivers Succeed in the Trucking Industry.
RESOURCES FOR WOMEN IN TRUCKING:
With increasing numbers of female truck drivers joining the workforce, many organizations have come up with resources to help them overcome the challenges they may face in their day-to-day trucking life. Whether they need education, support, or networking opportunities, some organizations and programs provide valuable resources for women in trucking. Some of these are:
S.H.E. TRUCKING Association
The S.H.E. TRUCKING Association is one of the most influential groups of truck drivers in the United States. They’re a worldwide community of over 30,000 people working to ensure that women and other minorities have equal access to rewarding employment in the transportation industry. The President, Sharae Moore, a truck driver, stands firm on empowering & mentoring females in trucking.
African American Women Trucking Association (AAWTA):
Through networking events, educational resources, and mentorship programs, The African American Women Trucking Association (AAWTA) helps to support and empower women in trucking. It provides valuable resources and programs for female truck drivers, especially African American women. In addition, the association promotes diversity and inclusivity in the industry and provides opportunities for professional growth and community building. For female truck drivers looking for support and resources, the AAWTA is a valuable organization to consider.
Women In Trucking:
Driven by its purpose to encourage employment, address obstacles, and celebrate success, Women In Trucking has been working hard to support the advancement of women in the trucking business for more than ten years. As a result, it has built a strong community among its members, primarily consisting of business professionals and professional class A CDL drivers who believe in and support the organization's goal.
Besides helping women succeed in the trucking industry, the Women in Trucking Association also makes the industry safer and more inclusive for everyone. It advocates for truck driver safety and promotes diversity and inclusion. Also, it collaborates with other trucking industry stakeholders, government agencies, and partners to develop practical solutions to these issues. So, if you're a female truck driver looking for support or want to make the trucking industry a better place, Women in Trucking is a great organization to join.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:
Another resource to help women advance in the trucking industry is the Women of Trucking Advisory Board (WOTAB), a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Formed in February 2022, WOTAB is dedicated to promoting education, training, mentorship, and outreach programs for women in the trucking industry and improving recruitment, retention, and advancement opportunities for female truck drivers. The board comprises members with diverse backgrounds and experience, ensuring a balanced perspective on the needs of women in the industry. By expanding scholarship opportunities, enhancing training and mentorship programs, and providing outreach and education initiatives, WOTAB is committed to helping women succeed in the trucking industry.
With these valuable resources available to female truck drivers in the United States, it has become even more accessible for women to pursue trucking as a career. Whether you are just starting or are a seasoned professional, these organizations and programs can provide the support, education, and mentorship women need to succeed in this dynamic industry. Women can use these resources to enhance their skills, expand their network, advance their careers, and become successful in trucking.
You might also like 10 Amazing Resources for Truck Drivers in 2022.
In conclusion, women are breaking barriers and making significant strides in the trucking industry. While there are still obstacles to overcome, the progress made in recent years is promising. By continuing to work together and push for improvement, we can create a more diverse, inclusive, and thriving industry for all. So let's keep breaking barriers and paving the way for future generations of women in trucking.
So, this women's history month, let's honor the efforts and accomplishments of women in the past, present, and future. Also, remember, the future is female!
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