01 Mar Women in Trucking – The Face of the Industry’s Future
Close your eyes and picture a “stereotypical” truck driver. What do you see? While many will have different images come to mind, there’s a good chance most people reading this will envision one common thing…
Unfortunately, this is a stigma that has plagued the trucking industry for years, but there is some truth to it. In fact, women only make up about 6% of truck drivers. While this number has slowly risen over the years, it has a long way to go.
The good news? The trucking industry is becoming more diverse than ever before, and it’s encouraging women and younger people to lead the next generation of drivers and workers.
How Women Can Improve the Driver Shortage
In 2017, the American Trucking Association reported there was a shortage of over 50,000 truck drivers; however, the freight industry is still strong! As a result, more drivers are needed than ever before to fulfill the consistent need for goods and products to be shipped across the country.
Women are helping alleviate the shortage by becoming the new face of the trucking industry. Many drivers are aging out of their jobs and getting ready for retirement. As this continues to happen, more openings for drivers and other positions within the industry will open, creating opportunities for many.
It’s the perfect time for women to step in and become a larger part of the industry. Younger women, especially, can become ambassadors for diversity in a male-dominated environment.
What Are Some Challenges for Female Drivers?
There are still challenges that need to be addressed when it comes to recruiting women into the trucking industry. One of the biggest concerns for many women who might be interested in this career is that the industry itself was basically designed for men. The equipment was designed with male use in mind, so it can take some getting used to.
Some women also might be intimidated coming into a workforce that is dominated so heavily by men. If they fear not being taken seriously, considering a trucking career might be overwhelming.
Obviously, these are issues that need to be addressed on a large scale, but they also need to be looked at by individual trucking companies. As more women join the industry, the national progression of these changes will become obvious.
Driving the Trucking Industry Ahead
Both private businesses and national organizations are starting to realize just how crucial women can be to the future of the trucking industry. Kopf Logistics Group is one of those businesses. Our family-owned company proudly employs men and women in key positions and encourages both women and men to join our team as Drivers or Independent Freight Agents. Organizations like the Women in Trucking Association (WIT) are encouraging women to find employment in the industry and helping minimize the obstacles that might stand in their way.
As the trucking industry continues to grow and thrive, there will always be a need for people to move goods from one part of the country to another. Trucking companies are always looking for qualified individuals, both men and women, to drive trucks; and, unlike many other industries, the trucking industry simply cannot be outsourced.