The trucking industry has lamented the so-called “truck driver shortage” for a long time. This alleged shortage resulted in truck drivers remaining in high demand with carriers desperately wanting to hire more drivers.
In order to find more drivers to place behind the wheel, the trucking industry has taken a two-pronged approach. First, trucking companies have raised wages and offered new benefits. Second, the trucking industry has made a push to expand and diversify the pool of available drivers.
In these efforts, the trucking industry has made massive strides to be more accepting to women who want to work in the industry.
New data from Women In Trucking shows that women now make up almost 14% Class A commercial truck drivers. In 2018, that number was only 7.9%. The number has double in just five years.
In addition to the driving profession, other trucking jobs such as dispatcher and safety have seen women rise to up to 40% of these roles.
The diversification of the trucking industry has been the result of efforts from many people and organizations. Women In Trucking is the most prominent advocate for training women drivers and other trucking careers.
Industry lobbying resulted in the Biden administration including a push for more women drivers in its Trucking Action Plan.
Many companies, unions, and other organizations have also worked to increase training and reduce instances of harassment against women in the industry. Specific issues that tend to disproportionately affect women, like the lack of safe parking, have also seen continuous improvement efforts by stakeholders.
The pandemic saw many women enter the industry as people needed new employment in the wake of the recession. Unfortunately, in-person training and CDL testing stalled at the time, but we are now seeing numbers that show the increase in women drivers would remain high.