The Women in Trucking Association (WIT) and the National Transportation Institute (NTI) recently revealed research that highlights the growing number of female truck drivers entering the industry. Hundreds of individual firms and fleets responded to the joint surveys, providing key details on the rise of women in trucking and in fleet management.
An increase of women in trucking.
In addition to the increased number of female drivers, more carriers are now committed to tracking gender-based data and are open to the idea of hiring women in an industry seen as typically male. A 19% increase in the number of carriers reporting made for more robust data sets and more relevant details. While the industry overall saw a 1% increase in female drivers, some reporting carriers boasted a 28% increase in their female driver population. About 25% of reporting brands reported this higher rate of increase in 2017.
While rates of women drivers continue to climb, women in management positions at carriers continued to grow as well. Of the brands surveyed, 75% listed women in director or board positions. The industry desperately needs more drivers. The Truck Driver Shortage Analysis in 2015 by the American Trucking Association predicts that the industry will come up short of drivers in just a few years. Many current truckers are approaching retirement age, and there is a small number of new, qualified drivers. This makes it challenging for brands to find the help they need.
Benefits of Women Drivers for Truck Businesses.
Carriers and brands can benefit from the arrival of female drivers in a few ways. Embracing the growing numbers of women drivers could help lower costs, create a more harmonious workplace and even lead to fewer violations on the road.
According to recent research, women are more averse to risk and about 4 times less likely to commit moving violations. This natural aversion to risk and attention to careful driving pays off in fewer fines and less problematic behavior.
Attention to Detail:
Several scientific studies reveal that women may be better at tracking small details and handling tasks that require attention; your trucking logs could benefit from a female driving team.
Lower Truck Insurance Costs:
Traditionally, female drivers are less expensive to insure than males. It could be cheaper to insure a female workforce. Females may be more invested in education and training, again lowering key costs for truck insurance.
According to Science Daily, women form deeper relationships and friendships at work, leading to less workplace conflict. While trucking is a solitary profession, women’s natural propensity to form relationships could result in less conflict and easier communication pathways between drivers and management.
The appeal of trucking for women continues to grow. Attention to safety (from cab alarms to safe truck stops and women-friendly service stations) and flexible hours means that the number of female drivers should continue to climb. Both this new generation of drivers and the businesses they work for stand to benefit from this new trend.
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