A partnership between the Women in Trucking Association (WIT) and the National Transportation Institute (NIT) surveyed companies regarding the number of women in the industry, finding the figure to increase in 2017. In order to track information regarding the benefits, driver wages, retirement plans and other data, the two organizations surveyed hundreds of trucking firms. According to the information that was gathered, the percentage of women drivers rose in 2017 from 7.13 percent at the beginning of the year to 7.89 percent at the end. The presence of women in management also increased in 2017 from 23 percent to 23.75 percent.
While the United States Department of Labor also tracks the number of women in trucking, that agency’s definition differs from the one used in the survey undertaken by WIT and NTI. The government tracks those women who have jobs as “driver/sales workers and truck drivers” while the WIT/NTI survey is specific to over-the-road drivers.
Increase in Tracking Women in the Industry:
The survey also noted that more carriers are tracking data regarding the presence of females in the industry. Over the past two years, the percentage of such companies has increased by 19 percent. Additionally, more than 25 percent of those carriers who participated in the research reported a nearly 28.7 percent increase in their population of female drivers.
Women in Management Growing:
The number of women in positions of management within publicly-traded carriers was the subject of another joint survey effort. This time, WIT partnered with the Memphis University to track the percentage of women who are on the boards of these carriers. Their research discovered that 12 of the 16 organizations — or 75 percent — have directors who are female. This figure is an increase from the 10 out of 15 companies — or 67 percent –who had women on their boards in 2016. Out of 15 companies, six indicated that women held a position within management for 2017. That figure was unchanged from 2016.
According to Ellen Vole, President of WIT, one way to draw women into the industry is to emphasize its importance, noting that women can do the same job as men and make the same amount of money in doing so since “the steering wheel doesn’t have any idea who’s holding it,” whether male or female and regardless of age or ethnicity. Highlighting the economic impact that the trucking industry has on feeding families and putting fuel in gas tanks could also help address the driver shortage.