In celebration of Women’s History Month, Thunder Funding wanted to reexamine the participation of women currently in the trucking industry. We first addressed the number of women truck drivers back in June of 2017 in this blog post: Cheering On More Women In Trucking Despite Stereotypes. In that blog post we pointed out that “The most recent survey shows that women constitute just 5.1 percent of truck drivers”.
However, several things have changed since that blog post was published…for instance, a global pandemic! An unusual time that has required more reliable people behind the wheel of a truck hauling all our essential goods. As the need for truck drivers has grown, are more women joining the ranks? According to an article by Bloomberg Businessweek: Women Are Entering a Trucking Industry That’s Not Built For Them “In 2019, 6.7% of long-haul drivers were women''. In a more recent article, the Women In Trucking Association reports that, “if you look at the Department of Labor data regarding labor force statistics, they currently show the number of professional [drivers/sales workers and truck drivers] as 3,364,000 in the United States. Of those, 7.8 percent are women, which means there are 262,392 female drivers”. That's a 2.7 percent increase in women truck drivers since we wrote our blog post!
Although women have made great strides in the trucking industry, they still face some challenges in a male-dominated field. For instance, women still run into safety issues when they’re on the road by themselves. There’s also the question of childcare; truck drivers don’t work a traditional nine-to-five, Monday to Friday schedule. They’re on the road day and night and weekends, so it makes it difficult for women to be the main caretakers and haul freight.
While there are still barriers in place for women attempting to enter the trucking profession, these barriers are coming down and more women are entering the field and finding success. The higher wages, the freedom, and a broader support system, is helping women get behind the wheel of a truck in larger numbers. This is a BIG WIN for women - bringing gender diversity to trucking!
For in-depth stats about women in the trucking industry, make sure to check out this article from WIT Association: Diversity Facts In Transportation
This NPR article: Truck Driving Has Long Been a Man’s World. Meet The Women Changing That - is a great read/listen (it’s only 3 minutes long), it offers interesting perspectives from female truck drivers themselves.
If you have any thoughts about women in trucking, share them below, we’d love to hear them!
For more blog post about women in the trucking profession, make sure to check out this blog post: Smart Trucking: Ryder's 'Female-Friendly' Truck Packages