In the U.S., the demand for licensed truckers has never been higher. With the shortage of truckers expected to climb to 175,000 by the year 2024, now is the perfect time for anyone in search of a good-paying job to enter the trucking industry, especially women.
Ripe for Growth
Traditionally, driving a truck was considered a man’s job and attracted few women. Fortunately, times are changing, albeit at a snail’s pace. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2017, 6.2% of truckers on the road were women, up from 4.5% 15 years ago, a small number when you consider that women make up 47% of the total U.S. workforce. The trucker shortage combined with women looking for good-paying jobs is the perfect recipe for a female explosion in the trucking industry.
And why not? Women can be a huge asset to any shipper. Men cause 6.1 million vehicle crashes per year while women only cause 4.4 million. Men are more willing to take risks than women which means their accidents are typically at higher rates of speed than those of women, who usually get into accidents at lower speeds causing less damage. Shipping companies that regularly hire women know this, as well as the fact women tend to be better at completing paperwork and better at customer service. Women truckers do so much more than fill an empty truck seat. They are a valuable and virtually untapped resource for trucking companies looking for reliable, long-term employees.
How can trucking companies attract more women to their company?
As a carrier, attracting more women to your company means valuing and appreciating them and looking at things from their perspective.
- Your place of business should be professional and welcoming to both men and women.
- Include women in your recruiting ads. Women should feel the ads are not merely aimed at men because this may be an indicator that women are not welcome. When evaluating your ads include any print or radio ads as well as your presence on social media like Facebook and Twitter.
- Promote women into leadership roles. Other women will see that women are valued in your company.
- Offer good pay, benefits, and bonuses.
- Guarantee time at home. One major reason the trucking industry suffers from a high turnover rate and lack of recruits is the hours away from home, keeping truckers from having a more predictable home life. Many companies are trying to combat this with shorter routes and flexible schedules so employees can have a more balanced home and work life.
- Have female trainers. Having a female driver on the road with her during her training period may be encouraging.
- Make diversity training mandatory. Unfortunately, there are still drivers who show little respect for women in the field. Diversity training may help female drivers, but knowing that your company offers this kind of supportive training may attract more female applicants.
- Understand safety concerns. Safety is a major concern for women on the road, especially for those doing long hauls. Things such as parking in well-lit spaces at truck stops that are open 24/7, always locking the doors, and carrying pepper spray are things that male truckers should do also but may not really think about. Offer seminars and training on how to stay safe out on the road.
If the trucking industry is going to be able to keep up with consumers’ hunger for goods, it needs to shatter the stigma of truckers being big, burly men. Actively recruiting women to enter into trucking careers is the obvious solution to the growing trucker shortage and changing the field so it fits the needs of many will bring in more recruits looking to enter into a good career.
At Direct Freight Services, we help shippers find carriers to bring loads to their destinations. From short routes to cross-country, Direct Freight gives shippers the tools they need to find reliable truckers to carry the load. For drivers and carriers, Direct Freight’s database of currently available loads will keep your trucks rolling. Go to Direct Freight today to find out more about how this vital tool can help you.