Women make up a small fraction of the workforce in the truck driving industry. In 2008, only 4.9% of truck drivers were women. By 2017, the number increased to 6.2% (around 217,000 long-haul drivers) — still a very small number out of the millions of women in the workforce today.
Luckily, there are some people fighting for this very thing. U.S. Senator Jerry Moran is working on legislation to implant an advisory board within the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to work on building the ranks of women in the trucking industry.
So what does it look like today in the world of trucking for women? How can we improve so anyone who wants to drive a truck feels like they can and excel at it?
The current state of women in trucking
Across the board, women are only a small percentage of the workforce at any level of transportation and logistics. Most women work in management, while less than 8% of drivers are women, according to the Women in Trucking Association Index.
These numbers are not irregular for most industries. Men often outnumber women in middle management and executive roles historically in every industry.Â
Knight Transportation produced a series of videos highlighting truckers. Our favorite one is with trucker Susan Hoagland and payroll director Linda Dominy. You can see below how the job of a trucker is much more than just driving, and how smart, responsible, and friendly trucking can make for a great career.
Trucking for men and women
Women in Trucking President and CEO Ellen Voie explained that women and men tend to make decisions differently. Men tend to weed out the options they donâ€™t like and quickly make a decision to move on. While women will take time to expand on each option to discover possible hidden benefits.
These differences are complementary because it helps businesses make decisions that are diverse in order to fan out their options rather than go too far down one track for too long. While the trucking industry is for anyone, there are certain ways to go about making sure everyone feels welcome.
At FreightWavesâ€™ spring conference TransparencyWaves19, there was a panel of women who talked about The Female Factor and how it can reshape the industry. â€œWhen it comes to retaining women and helping them move through the ranks, respect, flexibility, and intentionality are the key concerns,â€ said Allison Robinson, CEO of The Mom Project.
Women in the supply chain
Beyond who’s behind the wheel, there’s still an uneven percentage of women in other sectors of the supply chain. From transport pros working for shippers to 3PLs managing shipment logistics, there are women rising in the ranks.
â€œWorking in a place like Shipwell, I feel that my voice and opinions matter,â€ says Taryn Dietrich, Shipwellâ€™s Manager of Carrier Success.
â€œWorking in a male-dominated industry can be intimidating for many women but working at a company that empowers females like myself makes me feel l that I am making an impact in this industry and my experience is valued.â€
Shippers want the best carriers
At the end of the day, shippers want their products in the most capable hands possible. Whether itâ€™s a man or a woman is not important, itâ€™s about the highest quality service and timely delivery.
Want to up your game in the trucking world? Get the tools a trucker needs to succeed with Shipwell. Our platform offers private Load Board access, shipment management and communication, and real-time tracking that shippers and 3PLs need. Get a demo today and unlock new potentials in the world of trucking.