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Women Behind the Wheel

When it comes to female truck drivers, there is good news and bad news. The good news? The number of female drivers increased nearly 30% from 2018 to 2019. The bad news is that even though women make up 47% of the workforce, only 6.7% of long-haul drivers are women, according to the American Trucking Associations.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics broke down female drivers into categories when reporting the number of women driving trucks and buses.

OccupationTotal Emp.Women% of Women Drivers
Bus drivers, school276,00055,30020%
Bus drivers, transit and intercity241,00041,00017%
Driver/sales workers and truck drivers3,487,0007,900.23%

Forward Momentum

In honor of March being Women’s History Month, we thought it was a good time to look at the momentum of women getting behind the wheel. At least the trend of more women becoming truck drivers continues to be on the rise. The Wall Street Journal found that between 2010 and 2018, the number of female drivers increased by 68%. However, there’s still a long way to go.

One encouraging sign is the Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act, a bipartisan bill introduced to Congress on February 25, 2021. The bill had the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration establish and facilitate a Women of Trucking Advisory Board to review and report on policies and programs that promote, support, recruit, and retain female truck drivers.

The Future of Women in Trucking

The American Trucking Associations has stated that trucking companies in the United States suffered a record deficit of 80,000 drivers in 2021. This makes it a prime time for women to help fill that shortage.  Women are looking to trucking due to its high demand, it takes a short amount of training, and pays much better than other fields they’ve traditionally held. Due to the Covid effect, nearly 12 million women were no longer working as of April 2020 – compared to 10 million men. Since truck drivers earn an average of more than $26 per hour, it’s an attractive field for women to consider.

Unfortunately, women are facing sexism and bias when looking to enter and stay in the industry. The field as a whole is considered a masculine profession, so women are fighting that bias to get a job. And many trucking companies don’t think of marketing job openings to women – a trend that’s quickly shifting. Women in Trucking has developed a recruiting guide to help employers target women with job ads.

Another interesting tactic to get more women in the field can be found on social media like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. Many women are turning to these channels to highlight their lives as truck drivers and are explaining to other women the benefits of the industry and how to get a job driving a truck. Not only are the followers for these accounts exploding, so is women’s interest in pursuing truck driving as a career because of it.

Staying Safe

Ask any female truck driver and she’ll say concern for safety is one of the biggest issues for them. Women in Trucking did a survey and found that on a scale of one to ten, the average woman will rate how safe they feel on the road at just 4.4. Here are six tips to help female trucker drivers stay safe on the road:

  1. Plan your route in advance
  2. Keep your cell phone charged and within reach
  3. Find a trucking company that values their female drivers
  4. Carry a whistle, small air horn, or other protective equipment with you
  5. Always park in secure, well-lit areas
  6. Stay alert to your surroundings and listen to your gut if something is making you feel uncomfortable

Hopefully, this rising trend of female truck drivers continues and helps to fill the gap many trucking companies face with the current driver shortage.

Other ways to keep your female truck drivers safe are Safety Track’s GPS fleet tracking and dash camera solutions. Learn more by clicking here.