Women in the History and Future of Trucking

women truck drivers

Women have been working in the trucking profession since the early 1900s.

Part of the reason for this may be unexpected is that, despite their long history of engagement, female trucking records still show that there are fewer women truck drivers than males.

Women truck drivers, on the other hand, have been on the rise lately, with a nearly 30% rise during 2018 and 2019. In 2019, women made up more than 10% of OTR truck drivers. Let’s look at how women in trucking have changed with time and why attracting, recruiting, and encouraging women truckers is so important to the industry’s survival.

Women in Trucking: A Brief History

While many women were engaged in the early years of female trucking, Luella Bates is recognized as being the first woman to receive a commercial truck driver’s license. While the males were gone at war, she was one of 150 women employed to operate for Four Wheel Drive Auto Co. (FWD) in Wisconsin in 1918.

But instead of returning home at the close of World War I, as many women in the trucking business did, Bates stayed at FWD and made her first statewide trip in 1920. Luella Bates became the symbol of female trucking thanks to her love for the trucking profession. Hers is one of several women trucker success stories that show how far women have come in the trucking business.

Why Hire a Female Trucker?

There are a number of reasons why employing female truck drivers is a good idea.

As previously stated, just 10% of drivers are women, and there is a serious driver shortage in the sector. It will be critical to encourage more women in this field in order to ensure that we have enough drivers to meet present demand.

Aside from the hiring demand, statistics demonstrate that women are a good match for this profession. According to studies, women are much more averse to risk than men, making them perfect candidates for truck driving. Women truck drivers are even less likely to become involved in a fatal collision, according to data, and they travel more kilometers per year than their male peers.

Another benefit of hiring women truckers is that they also have a reduced turnover rate than men in the sector. The data on women in trucking alone make a compelling case for recruiting female drivers.

Women in Trucking: Obstacles to Overcome

Despite the fact that truck driving has become more accepting of women, there are still certain obstacles.

In general, businesses are attempting to solve these issues and have made great progress over time.

The following are some potential obstacles and solutions:

  • Semi-trucks have always been built for males. Women are typically shorter and smaller, may have felt less at ease in these trucks. More organizations are now taking into account the demands of female truck drivers and building cabins that are more suitable.
  • Women truckers driving alone may be concerned about their safety. Fortunately, advances in security technology, as well as the support and guidance of other women who have faced similar situations in the past, have made it simpler for women to feel safe and responsible. Organizations are becoming more aware of the specific problems that female drivers have, and are attempting to enhance their experiences. Many rest areas have also upgraded their facilities to improve comfort and safety for both male and female truckers.
  • Some firms’ organizational cultures are still unfriendly to female employees. The great news is that so many carriers are recognizing the importance of female drivers. Women might benefit from speaking with existing drivers about the company they want to drive for. This enables them to make judgments based on all available data.