As of 2020, the latest statistics that are available shows that women constitute 7.8% of the United States’ professional truck driver workforce, according to the American Trucking Associations from their recently released American Trucking Trends Report. The highest rate for female truck drivers has reached 8% which is a big improvement compared to the 6.7% rate in 2019.
The rate of women working in the industry is predicted to increase as employers decide to offer more benefits and high pay for truck drivers. Many women are now being encouraged to be involved in the historically male-dominated industry.
Why are there not many female truck drivers?
It’s important to understand why women don’t become truck drivers. There are several reasons:
- Men dominate the field.
- Careers in trucking simply don’t appeal to many women
- Women may have trouble getting hired.
- Women may face harassment.
- Women are less likely to own trucks.
Trucking companies are largely male-dominated industries. They tend to hire men who already have experience and prefer those who have worked in similar jobs before. These factors contribute to the low number of female truckers.
How much do women truck drivers make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for female truck drivers was $40,730 in May 2018. For comparison, the median annual salary was $41,490 for male truck drivers.
The trucking industry is looking to change its policies to cater to more female truck drivers. One reason for this is to prevent the shortage of truck drivers which is forecasted in 2024. Women truck drivers could play a significant part in the solution.
Is it safe to be a female truck driver?
Female drivers are at less risk for injury or death on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), women are less likely to die in crashes than men. In fact, they are about half as likely to die in car accidents.
Female truck drivers are also less likely to suffer serious injuries in traffic incidents. They are about four times less likely to sustain a head injury and three times less likely to sustain an injury to the neck. Furthermore, female truck drivers are less likely to be involved in fatal crashes. They are about two-thirds less likely to die in a crash than men.
Women are typically safer drivers than males, which makes them an important asset for an industry that relies on delivering goods to the American market on time. A savvy and safe female driver who has an excellent safety record can increase her earnings.
What is the difference between male and female truck drivers when they are on the road?
A study found that the difference between male and female truck drivers is due to different driving behaviors. Female truck drivers were more likely to follow rules such as following distance and speed limits. They also reported better safety habits such as checking blind spots and using seat belts.
In contrast, male truck drivers are less likely to check blind spots or wear seat belts. They also had higher blood pressure and heart rates at rest. Researchers conclude that the differences observed between the two genders could be attributed to different work characteristics, job demands, and/or decision-making styles between men and women.
How can we increase the number of women truck drivers?
Companies should take action to attract more women drivers and this can be done by offering more benefits. What can they do to change the system and increase their number?
1. Create a workplace that can attract women
Think about how you can make the truck a more welcoming environment for women as they will be spending most of their time there. One study found that, when compared to male drivers, female drivers spend more time using their smartphones while driving. Hands-free calling would likely be appealing to this demographic of truck drivers.
To accommodate women’s unique needs, create driving routes that offer ample bathroom breaks to better handle their unique physical needs. If there is a particular aspect to the job that women may find more difficult than men, then produce solutions that allow them to perform their jobs without having to give up any of their responsibilities.
2. You can offer various benefits for your women drivers
One way to attract more women drivers is to offer benefits they’d love to have at work. Options to potentially consider are:
- Equal pay
- Child care benefits
- Flexible work schedules
- Maternity leave
- Sick leave and health insurance
3. Utilize recruiting materials that women drivers can relate to
Look at your current recruiting materials and see if they need any improvement. Do any of them really connect to women? Do you use pictures of women drivers, for instance? And if you currently have female drivers as employees, do you highlight any of them in your recruiting collateral?
The more you can encourage women to see themselves driving for your company the more effective your efforts are likely to be. Don’t use just one woman in any of your recruiting materials. Try using a variety of women, of all different shapes, sizes, and ethnicities. Try to speak to women from various backgrounds. Make sure they know that you’re interested in them and the unique things that they bring.
Why women are critical to the future of trucking of the trucking industry
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there will soon be a shortage of around 1 million truck drivers. This is because the number of people entering the workforce will decrease due to the aging population, fewer young people pursuing higher education, and lower birth rates.
To meet the demand for truck drivers, many states have enacted laws requiring commercial motor carriers to offer opportunities for new hires. Some of these rules mandate that hiring managers conduct gender-neutral interviews with every applicant.
As the number of available truck drivers decreases, it becomes increasingly important to recruit qualified individuals from diverse backgrounds. By increasing the number of women truckers, we can help ensure that the supply of truck drivers meets the demand.