Trucking has always been a male-dominated profession. Today, women make up just 7% of the driver workforce and about 14% of management.
Even as we’re faced with driver shortages, the ratio of women in the industry hasn’t changed. With annual staff turnover rates of between 90% and 300%, the industry cannot afford to exclude half its potential employees.
According to Ellen Voie, president and CEO of The Women in Trucking Association: “Women feel that they’re not treated fairly.(1)
“They feel that dispatchers treat them less fairly than their other male counterparts and that treatment by other men isn’t always the best.”
When complaints are made, they are often not taken seriously and rarely make it to court. The ‘solution’ is that women end up leaving the profession – which is then taken as confirmation that women ‘aren’t up to the job.’
Sexual harassment in the workplace is an ongoing issue that impacts all industries, from Hollywood to trucking. After years of silence, women are finally speaking out.
As the conversation moves towards the experiences of women in the workplace and #MeToo continues to gather momentum, it’s time the trucking industry started asking itself some awkward questions, too.
I used to know a couple of women drivers and I regret not holding my colleagues more accountable. For every woman that leaves the profession, it’s a loss for the industry as much as it is for the individual.
Oh, and did I mention? Data from fleet management provider Omnitracs reveals women have a lower accident ratio and travel more miles per year than men.(2) #justsaying
Do you have any suggestions on how we can make the industry more woman-friendly?