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Industry Insights: Women in trucking

Industry Insights: Women in trucking

In 2020, women made up approximately 7% of America’s over-the-road (OTR) truck drivers, an substantial increase when compared to the 4.9% they totalled in 2008, but still a very small number in the industry.

A large part of this increase comes from the nonprofit Women in Trucking (WIT), which has played a role in advocating for women drivers, as well as women in logistics, management and other roles throughout the industry. Alongside this group, we have senators like Tammy Baldwin, Jerry Moran, Deb Fischer and Jon Tester who are 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

Despite increases, across the board, women remain a small percentage of the workforce at any level of transportation and logistics. Most women work in management, while just 7% 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. 

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 don’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 FreightWaves’ spring conference TransparencyWaves19, there was a panel of women who talked about The Female Factor and how it can reshape the industry. “When it comes to retaining women and helping them move through the ranks, respect, flexibility, and intentionality are the key concerns,” 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. And that includes right here at Shipwell.

As Taryn Dietrich, Shipwell’s Manager of Carrier Success puts it:

“Working in a place like Shipwell, I feel that my voice and opinions matter. Working 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.”

Shippers want the best carriers

At the end of the day, shippers want their products in the most capable hands possible. Whether it’s a man or a woman is not important, it’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.