While slowly on the climb, the number of drivers composing of women in the trucking industry remains a mere 7.89%. According to statistics, hiring more females into driving careers can serve many benefits to your company, the industry, as well as other drivers on the road. Here’s a closer look.
*Recruiting a larger percentage of female drivers will no doubt expand the driver pool during a time when the industry is short nearly 63,000 drivers. That number is on pace to reach almost 175,000 by 2026, according to the American Trucking Association.
*Statistics show that women rank higher than men when it comes to safety behind the wheel. In fact, according to a report from the American Transportation Research Institute, women were above men in 18 out of 34 safety measures, whereas the remaining 16, gender did not have an impact. (1) Among the categories in which women ranked higher included crash (which showed that “men were 20% more likely to be involved in a crash”), log books (where men were 45% more likely to have a violation) and hours-of-service (in which men were 60% more likely to violate as well.) (1) Not only did data provided by Omnitracs show that women got into less preventable accidents than men, but men received greater warnings for hard braking, excessive speeding and forward collisions (2)
*Fewer collisions also coincided with greater driver retention and higher financial returns for carriers who took it upon themselves to hire more female drivers to their fleet.
*Due to the fact that women truck drivers often travel as a team, more miles can be covered during a single trip without breaking hours-of-service regulations by switching drivers.
What needs to be done to attract more female drivers:
Recruiting methods are a large part of bringing more women into the industry and more and more carriers are starting to alter advertising methods to appeal to the female gender.
“I am confident more carriers are focusing on attracting and retaining female drivers, as more are starting to track their percentages as well as change their recruiting and training policies to accommodate women,” says Ellen Voie, President & CEO of the Women In Trucking Association. “We learned that women prioritize safety and on a scale of one to ten, only rank their level of safety as drivers at 4.4. We need to ensure all of our drivers have good, dependable equipment that won’t leave them vulnerable on the side of a road. We also need carriers with a real safety culture, which doesn’t allow drivers to deliver or pick up in areas with high criminal activity and to operate on roads that are not experiencing adverse weather conditions.”
According to a Women in Trucking’s Best Practices Survey conducted by Sawgrass Logistics and The Women in Trucking Association, women were most attracted to the “independent lifestyle, pay/benefits, and travel (w/partner)” and reversely, intimidated by “operating the equipment, safety on the road, getting the license, work schedule & hours, and relationship with colleagues.” In fact, according to the survey, over 84% of women are not even offered a mentor during training and 89.80% didn’t have any support after orientation.
Serendipitous: occurring or discovered by chance in a happy or beneficial way
This is how Road Scholar became an environment not only suited for women, but one literally, and figuratively driven by them. Jim and Debra Barrett founded Road Scholar Transport 30 years ago, and little did they know how much the composition of their family would shape the future of their company. Debra quickly found herself as the sole dispatcher, dock worker, and accountant while Jim was out on the road – a woman amongst many men, as I am sure you can imagine! The fortitude and drive to simply “get the job done” that both Jim & Deb possess was quite easily transferred to their 4 children – our kids do as we do, not as we say, right? All four of their children joined in the company activities as youngsters and just like Jim & Deb – they never left! In addition to Deb three of their four kids happen to be females, not to mention 4 out of their 6 grandchildren, so the atmosphere was very easily always one welcoming, and nurturing of women. 10% of the driving force is presently comprised of women, and 40% of the support staff are females as well.
If you would like to join our family of drivers, we would love to hear from you! Road Scholar offers great benefits including:
Local drivers home nightly
Regional drivers home weekends
Comprehensive healthcare and benefits
1 week vacation after 6 months
Modern air ride equipment
“Access Perks” family discount program
TVs in trucks for our regional drivers
And more! Click here to visit our careers page to learn more, submit an application, or chat with one of our drivers or driver relationship specialists today.