A growing number of women are driving trucks and earning a comfortable living doing so. But according to recent surveys, not everything is peaches and cream for women drivers. Issues revealed mostly revolve around safety and respect though in many cases these are situational in nature. If a man or woman drives for a company with a culture that is not friendly, any driver-woman or man- would likely not blame trucking but their situation. The result usually calls for signing on with another outfit after investigating to find the right fit. Situational does not need to be forever.
Survey findings reveal interesting feelings of both women and men. For instance, one survey found that 89% of women feel safe when sleeping in their truck, while 11% do not feel safe. That’s a great positive number of comfortable women.
A survey by JW Surety Bonds reported 68% of women felt safe working while 78% of men working felt safe. Again, this may also be situational as truck drivers are required to make pickups and deliveries at all hours and in less than savory areas and conditions. Most drivers accept these conditions rather than push for change.
However, the idea of safety may change when a woman works directly with a man such as when being trained by a man. Opposite sexes contained in close quarters for long hours can feel very uncomfortable for a woman.
A survey by Women In Trucking Association found that gender bias and harassment are prevalent concerns for women drivers. The mission of Women In Trucking Association is to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, address obstacles and celebrate success. For more information go to www.womenintrucking.org.
In Canada the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada is a network of women created for women to empower, expand and retain employment of – and shift attitudes about – women in the industry and beyond. This includes supporting the industry with issues around training, safety, career progression, education, mentoring and more. To find out more go to Home – WTFC (womenstruckingfederationofcanada.net) If you are a woman truck driver or are interested in possibly pursuing a career as a truck driver you are urged to get the facts about careers in trucking by investigating and joining one of these associations for help and support to find out if trucking is right for you. With the trucking industry currently experiencing a shortage of drivers, women are likely to find stable, steady careers that last. The trucking industry needs women. Go for it.