In a traditionally male-dominated sector, women are steadily steering change within the U.S. trucking industry. Women now account for far more of the professional drivers than a few years ago. Beyond driving, they are taking up diverse roles, advocating for gender equality, enhancing safety standards, and even venturing into entrepreneurship. This article explores the ways women are not just participating in but also shaping the future of the industry.
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Increased Representation & Breaking Barriers
The trucking industry was traditionally male-dominated. However, women are entering the trucking industry in greater numbers than before, contributing to increased gender diversity within the workforce. For example, in 2022, women made up about 14% of the total of professional drivers in the industry, which is an almost 6% increase from 2018. This increased representation helps challenge stereotypes and promote inclusivity.
Since women are breaking down barriers and challenging gender norms, they are proving that one’s gender doesn’t dictate one’s ability to excel in the field. As more and more women succeed and thrive in diverse roles in the trucking industry, women are inspiring other women to consider careers in trucking.
Advancement Opportunities, Advocacy, and Support
Women are pursuing various roles in the trucking industry. Some women choose to become truck drivers, but others take positions in management, dispatch, safety, other types of operations, and key roles.
As women progress in their careers, they play an active and significant role in decision-making, shaping policies, and driving innovation. For example, many women who are now active in the trucking industry actively advocate for gender equality and promote opportunities for women.
They participate in organizations and associations that support women in trucking, offering mentoring programs, networking opportunities, and resources to help women succeed in the industry.
Safety and Training
There are many safety standards and training programs implemented in the trucking industry. With the increased presence of women, these safety standards and training programs are improved in various ways.
For example, through their experiences and perspectives, some women help identify areas where safety protocols can be enhanced, ultimately leading to safer working conditions for all trucking professionals. Through diverse and varied perspectives, many issues related to safety standards or training programs might be addressed sooner.
Industry Initiatives & Entrepreneurship
Since women’s numbers are growing within the trucking industry, several industry initiatives are aimed at supporting and promoting them. Many organizations have this aim in mind, such as the Women in Trucking Association (WIT).
These associations strive to increase the number of women in the industry, address various challenges that women may face within the industry, and advocate for gender diversity and inclusion.
Some women are even starting their own trucking businesses, becoming entrepreneurs in the industry, which provides even more employment opportunities for everyone and contributes to the overall growth of the sector.
Overall, women in the trucking industry make various significant contributions and shape them through their skills, perspectives, expertise, leadership, and advocacy. The presence of women in the industry will create an even more inclusive and diverse workforce than before, driving positive changes and opening doors for future generations of female truckers.
However, even if women are more present than ever in the trucking industry, that doesn’t make it any easier to become successful within the industry. To enter the trucking industry and become successful, you need to stay informed about all the laws and regulations, ensure DOT compliance, and more. Contact a trucking service company that can aid you with DOT compliance, insurance, or other relevant aspects related to the industry, and start on your journey smart and prepared!