The trucking industry’s driver shortage is not going away. In fact, recent projections from the American Trucking Association (ATA) indicate that the shortage is expected to double over the next decade. This has been an ongoing issue and trucking companies are looking for ways to recruit drivers —as we have discussed many times before. Trucking companies have expanded their recruiting efforts and have begun to target a segment of the population that has since been ignored in this industry— WOMEN.1 Women have been fighting to be equal to men in every industry, why not the trucking industry too?!
“ATA figures show that the female component of the U.S. trucker population has increased slowly over the last 15 years, from 4.5 percent in 2003 to roughly six percent in 2018.”1 Women make up more than 50 percent of the United States workforce, yet they are significantly unrepresented in the trucking industry.2
In Kansas, Senator Jerry Moran, along with the Women in Trucking Association and the American Trucking Associations, are spearheading a congressional bill to promote more women in the trucking industry.3 This bill will address the challenges and discrimination women face in the industry by proposing an advisory board within the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to provide training, education and recruitment of female truck drivers.1
Women tend to have concerns about going into the trucking industry, of course — it’s been viewed as a man’s job since the beginning of time! However, there are more specific reasons women are concerned with; being away for extended periods of time, trucks are perceived as being uncomfortable and difficult to drive, and the physical safety of women drivers are huge obstacles for women becoming drivers.1 The biggest concern is safety. This is being addressed by sexual harassment awareness training and self-defense classes.1 The smallest efforts of a trucking company to keep women truck drivers safe are worth it, such as not allowing drivers to deliver or pick up in areas of high criminal activity and dependable equipment that won’t leave drivers stranded.
The addition of women in the trucking industry will not only reduce the driver shortage, but would improve highway safety overall! “A report by the American Transportation Research Institute found that women truck drivers outscore men in several important safety areas. Women are 20 percent less likely to be involved in a crash, are 45 percent less likely to participate in logbook violations and are 60 percent less likely to commit hours-of-service violations.”1
Road Scholar Transport supports the women in this industry and looks forward to adding more women drivers to our fleet— solely because our company is driven by women! Road Scholar Transport was founded over 30 years ago by Jim and Debra Barrett; with Jim on the road, Debra took on any role she needed to, sole dispatcher, dock worker, and accountant — anything to get the job done! The passion for this company possessed by Jim and Deb was passed down to their 4 children—three of which are females! All four of their children joined in the company activities as youngsters and just like Jim & Deb – they never left! Now in addition to Deb and her three daughters, 5 out of their 7 grandchildren are females, so the atmosphere here at Road Scholar is very 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!