If you ask someone to picture a truck driver, many of them will think of a rugged man. Although it is true that the trucking industry has a high proportion of male drivers, the number of women truckers continues to grow. Data from Freightwaves and the Women in Trucking Association (WIT) shows that the percentage of over-the-road (OTR) truckers who are female has increased from 4.9% in 2008 to 10.2% in 2019.
Due to the continuing truck driver shortage, there is an increased demand for drivers of both genders. This means that welcoming more female truckers is a promising way to meet this need while also allowing women to take advantage of the many benefits of the trucking industry.
More information about the future of women in trucking:
What Brings Women to the Trucking Industry
For the most part, women choose to become truckers for the same reasons men do.
Some of these include:
- High Earning Potential: OTR drivers can earn competitive pay and take advantage of excellent benefits. Truckers can earn more than $69,000 a year.*
- Accelerated Training: Getting a commercial driver’s license (CDL) can take as little as four weeks. Especially considering the high earning potential, this is a relatively short training period.
- Freedom of the Open Road: Long-haul trucking gives you the opportunity to see more of the country.
Key Barriers to Address to Help Women in Trucking
Over the years, the trucking industry has become more welcoming for women. However, there are still some barriers that companies are working to address in order to help women drivers.
Some of these barriers and possible solutions for them include:
Varying Company Cultures
Some motor carriers unfortunately still have corporate cultures that are not entirely welcoming to female truckers. Luckily, more and more companies have begun to realize how valuable women truck drivers can be and are taking steps to create a more inclusive environment.
If you are a female trucking school student, one way to help ensure your future company will be a welcoming workplace is to talk to current drivers. All trucking students, regardless of gender, can actually benefit from this as it allows them to make decisions about their future with access to all of the available information.
Women are shorter and smaller than men on average and in the past, semi-trucks have been designed for male drivers. As a result, women may not always feel as comfortable in tractor-trailers. Today, companies have begun to consider the needs of women and are making cabs that are more accommodating.
Female truckers traveling alone may be concerned about safety. The good news is that there have been advancements in security technology that can help these women feel safer. Additionally, female truck drivers who have dealt with issues in the past can help those who are new to the industry and give them advice.
Motor carriers have also become more aware of the unique concerns of their female drivers and trainees. As a result, they have worked to improve safety on the road. In addition, updated truck stop facilities provide more safety and comfort for all drivers regardless of gender.
We Welcome All Trucking Students
At Phoenix Truck Driving School, we strive to provide a supportive and welcoming environment for all students, both male and female. Our program can get you on the road in as little as four weeks and we offer job placement assistance to help you get your career started.
If you are interested in earning your commercial driver’s license, contact us today.
*Professional truck drivers earn a mean annual wage of $47,130. The top 10% of truck drivers make more than $69,480 per year according to 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics.