FEMALE TRUCK DRIVERS ARE SHIFTING THE GEARS OF THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY

by | Nov 3, 2021 | Women truckers, Industry Insights, Truck Drivers, Truckers

A RECORD NUMBER OF WOMEN TRUCKERS ARE STEPPING BEHIND THE WHEEL

Since the pandemic impacted lives and businesses across the world in 2020, it’s no surprise the trucking industry has seen many changes due to its effects. With the high demand for products ranging from iPads to cars, there has been an increased need for truck drivers. However, many men who have traditionally dominated the field have yet to return to their positions, leading to a shortage of drivers across the industry–until women began to step into the driver’s seat.

Women are shifting the gears of the trucking industry. In 2021, there has been a record-breaking increase in female drivers. In fact, there are now 245,000 women truck drivers on the road!

Challenges Faced by Women Truckers in a Male-Dominated Industry

 

Women truckers face a unique set of challenges in the male-dominated trucking industry, a sector where labor statistics show a significant gender gap. Despite efforts by trucking companies to recruit more women drivers, female truck drivers often encounter systemic barriers and biases that can make their work environment daunting. One of the primary hurdles is the pervasive safety concerns at truck stops and on long hauls, which can be particularly intimidating for women entering the transportation industry. These safety issues necessitate a set of safety tips tailored specifically for female truck drivers, emphasizing the need for vigilance and precaution.

Additionally, the trucking industry’s culture has traditionally been geared toward men, making gender diversity in the workplace a slow-moving change. Women drivers frequently report feeling isolated or marginalized, highlighting the importance of creating a more inclusive environment that supports and encourages young women and all women in trucking. This includes addressing harassment and ensuring equal treatment and opportunities for advancement.

The driver shortage plaguing the trucking industry presents an opportunity for trucking companies to diversify their workforce by hiring more women drivers. However, to attract and retain these drivers, companies must actively work to dismantle the stereotypes and obstacles that women face. This includes providing mentorship programs, enhancing safety measures, and promoting a culture that values and respects gender diversity.

As the industry evolves, the increasing presence of women in trucking is not only enriching the sector with diverse perspectives but also proving essential for addressing the driver shortage. Trucking companies that prioritize inclusivity and actively support their female truck drivers will lead the shift towards a more equitable and dynamic trucking industry.

 

BUMPS IN THE ROAD

Being a professional truck driver is more than just being able to drive a big rig. It requires long hours on the road with irregular hours and physical strains. Most of the time, it is a lonely profession, and it includes lots of time spent away from loved ones. For many women with kids at home, this lifestyle can be even tougher to handle. There are also other problems women truckers face on top of this. Like any male-dominated industry, there are other problems women breaking into the force have to face such as sexual harassment and discrimination.

However, with modern technology like Facetime and Zoom, being apart from friends and family is somewhat easier to handle.

As for the other issues women truckers face on the road, there are many resources available to make these challenges less daunting including:

  • Facebook Groups
  • Training classes
  • Self-defense programs
  • Mentoring

Truck driving is not a profession to go into lightly. There are many challenges all truck drivers face and even more that women truckers deal with. So, what is the appeal for the women helping to keep the industry afloat?

 

FREEDOM OF THE ROAD AND FINANCES

More and more women are entering the field despite its challenges. A big factor in this is the financial stability it provides. In the last year pay in the trucking industry has risen by 5% with an average of $27.50 per hour according to the Labor Department.  You can make around $1,000 per week depending on how much you drive. This average is much higher than what a lot of the women truckers were making at previous service industry jobs which allows them to have financial stability for themselves and provide for their families without strain.

With newfound financial stability and the opportunity to travel across the country and see the world from their rig, truck driving opens a lot of doors for women who felt trapped in their previous positions. A lot of women have said they have felt empowered getting behind the wheel.

In a recent interview with NPR,  Tiffany Hathorn, a new truck driver, stated, “I’m not struggling like I was before. I have more of a peace of mind now.”

 

ARE YOU A NEW TRUCKER?

With more women stepping behind the wheel, they are susceptible to the same injuries as their male counterparts. Truck driving is not an easy job and can lead to various injuries including lifting and strain injuries, repetitive stress injuries, and accidents. If you’re a woman trucker who’s been hurt on the job, you should seek counsel from an experienced Hurt Trucker Attorney.

We have been representing injured truckers – men and women alike – for nearly 50 years by providing legal services and resources to truckers across the country. We will fight for your rights and make sure the workers’ compensation insurance adjusters treat you fairly.

If we represent you, we will aggressively pursue the maximum compensation available for your injuries, and we will not receive a fee until you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at 855-4-HURT-TRUCKER (417-323-2498) or email us at [email protected] to set up a free case review for more information on how we can help you pursue a fair injury rating so that you receive the compensation you deserve.