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Closing the Gap: Addressing Women Retention in the Trucking Industry

Updated: Apr 5



woman truck driver

As the world becomes more diverse, so do the industries that make it run. Women are becoming more common in the trucking industry than ever and have been essential for a long time. While the industry is still primarily dominated by men, women are making strides in trucking. Female truckers in America now take on various roles, from commercial drivers to dispatchers and mechanics. Women have also been making their presence known in the trucking industry by advocating for better working conditions and pay for all Class A CDL drivers. As the industry continues to evolve, more and more women are taking their place in it and making their mark. “Truck drivers are the lifeblood of American supply chains, yet at a time when America needs truck drivers more than ever and can't afford to leave any talent on the table, women are still vastly underrepresented in the industry,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg


At this point, where there are as many women willing to be a part of the industry as there are men, it is high time we realize that efforts need to be made to retain the female heroes of the industry. Retaining women truck drivers is an important factor in the trucking industry, as it is essential for the growth and success of the industry. This Women's History Month, companies hiring CDL drivers must begin showing women that they are appreciated and wanted as professional truck drivers.


As a women-owned truck driver recruiting agency, Rig on Wheels Broker & Recruitment Services recognizes various reasons pushing women away from trucking. Here are a few strategies that can be implemented to reduce turnover among women drivers in the trucking industry.


  • CREATING A WELCOMING AND SAFE ENVIRONMENT

The main issue that makes women leave the trucking industry is the harassment they face. To keep female truck drivers in the industry, the first step is to make it a place where everyone, regardless of gender or race, feels welcome and included. Building a welcoming environment for women in the trucking industry starts with a commitment to inclusivity.


Employers should ensure that their hiring process is fair and non-discriminatory and that their workplace culture is respectful and accepting. Also, they should be aware of the particular issues that female truck drivers encounter, such as harassment and concerns for their safety, and take action to address them.


Another thing that worries women who drive trucks is their safety at night at truck stops. This issue should be addressed as truck stops are often located in isolated areas, making them potential criminal targets. In addition, women traveling alone at night are particularly vulnerable, as they may be seen as easy targets. Therefore, they should be trained to ensure their safety at all times. For example, they must know the safety services available at truck stops, such as security cameras and emergency call boxes.


Lastly, employers should create an environment where female truck drivers feel comfortable sharing their experiences and opinions. By taking these steps, employers can create a welcoming environment for women in the trucking industry where they feel safe and cared for.


Have a look at this blog on women safety in trucking. Male Truck Drivers Want to Keep Women Safe on the Road.



  • FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING

Working hours significantly affect women's retention in the industry. Most truck driving jobs require them to be either over the road for many days or working late hours during the day. This makes it difficult for women to work, as they might also have other obligations like looking after kids. Therefore, it must be considered that women are provided with work hours they are comfortable with.


Even though it may not be possible to tailor the job hours completely, minor adjustments can be made so that women can simultaneously fulfill their work and home obligations. Women have been underrepresented in the trucking industry, and flexible schedules can help make the workplace more comfortable. Flexible scheduling can mean various things, such as allowing for part-time hours, job sharing, and telecommuting. In addition, this type of schedule can help make the industry more accessible to women.


Flexible schedules for women in the trucking industry are essential for making the workforce more fair and diverse. It can help create a better work-life balance for women, allowing them to pursue other interests while contributing to the trucking industry. In addition, by creating a more flexible work environment, the trucking industry can improve the retention rates of female truck drivers.


  • EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES

Equal opportunities are critical to addressing female truck driver retention in the trucking industry. It is a common misconception that women are not suited for trucking, but the reality is that women can excel in this field just as well as men. However, gender bias and stereotypes often prevent women from pursuing careers in the trucking industry or advancing in their careers. Therefore, employers and the trucking industry must work together to give women the same opportunities as men.


First, employers should ensure that they practice fair recruitment practices in trucking and don't discriminate against women. They should also actively look for qualified women to fill positions in their trucking companies. Not only this, but trucking companies should also give female truck drivers the same pay and benefits as male drivers and ensure they have access to the same resources and training opportunities. Additionally, employers should ensure their promotion practices ensure gender diversity in trucking. Finally, providing access to quality childcare and other resources can make the trucking industry more attractive to women.


By taking these steps, trucking companies can ensure that all their employees, regardless of gender, have the same opportunities to succeed. In addition, by creating a more equitable and welcoming environment, employers can help retain women in the trucking industry and encourage more women to enter the field.


Also, read 10 Amazing Resources for Truck Drivers in 2022.


  • PROVIDING TRAINING AND SUPPORT

Training can be one of the 5 Strategies for Retaining Truck Drivers and can help improve women driver retention rates incredibly. It is essential to create a safe and comfortable environment for female truckers and provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their job effectively. Proper training must ensure women are prepared for their trucking jobs. By doing so, it can be assured that women in the trucking workforce know all the hows and whys of the job. Not only will this increase their productivity at work, but it will also improve their self-confidence since they will feel more knowledgeable.


Training can also help ensure female truckers are current on the latest trucking industry trends and regulations. Additionally, training can allow female truck drivers to build relationships with other drivers, which can help create a supportive and welcoming environment for them.


Training can also help reduce the gender gap in the trucking industry by providing women with the same education and resources as their male counterparts. Additionally, training can help to create a culture of respect and inclusion among the trucking community, which can help to make women feel more comfortable and confident in their roles. Finally, with proper training, women truck drivers can be better equipped to handle the challenges and demands of the job, which can lead to increased job satisfaction and retention.


Check out this recent Instagram post celebrating women: The future is female.


In conclusion, the trucking industry is becoming more diverse, with women making strides in various roles. However, retaining women drivers is essential for industry growth and success. Creating a welcoming environment, offering flexible scheduling and equal opportunities, and providing training and support are crucial steps to reducing female truck driver turnover rates.


As a women-owned truck driver recruiting agency, Rig on Wheels Broker & Recruitment Services understands women truck drivers' challenges. Companies must address issues such as pay equity, safety, and health concerns that disproportionately affect women in the industry. By implementing these gender-inclusive practices, companies can help close the female retention gap in the trucking industry. Women truck drivers are essential to the growth and success of the industry, and we must recognize and support them.


So, this Women's History Month, let us celebrate the accomplishments of women in trucking. Together, we can make the trucking industry more inclusive and supportive for all drivers, regardless of gender. In addition, by retaining and supporting women truck drivers, we can help ensure the industry's growth and success for years to come.


Contact us today! 281-968-3100​​

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If you work in the trucking industry and want to share your experience, email me at recruiting@rigonwheels.com


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