March 25, 2023Why We Need More Female Truckers
In honor of women’s history month, we’re looking at female truckers and where they fit in the trucking world. In a predominantly male occupation, female truckers are making their stand and showing that they, too, are capable of being successful truck drivers and that they fit nowhere other than right next to their male counterparts. Why are the scales unbalanced, and why do we need more women truckers?
Female Truckers Can Fill Driver Shortages
The primary and most apparent reason we need more female truckers is that we need people to fill driver seats. The tune of the significant truck driver shortages is still being sung across the nation. The need for drivers increases, and appealing to women truckers may help bridge the gap. Female truck drivers make up only about 15% of the workforce, which has risen over the last three years but remains low. The opportunity to lessen the truck driver shortage gap lies in raising the percentage of female drivers. The capabilities of women in the workforce have been proven over the years, with more and more women eager to fill jobs they wouldn’t have typically been considered for.
Female Truckers Are Good Workers
March celebrates Women’s History Month, focusing on working women and how far they’ve come in contributing to the workforce. Truck driving gained importance when women were not as involved in the workforce as men, but the war would soon change everything. During WWI, many women filled working roles usually performed by men while they were called to fight. Jobs now performed by women included telephone operators, salesclerks, and some more grueling jobs like textile manufacturing, truck driving, or ammunition production.
When WWII started, the nation was ready to call women to the workforce again to fill the gaps caused by men at war. Propaganda posters that later became an icon for working women were a way to beacon them to fill jobs. The posters encouraged women to work for lady liberty again and hold down the fort, so to speak.
When the men returned, however, women were expected to return to primarily focusing on raising families. The posters seemed to promote equality in the workforce, saying, “we can do it,” but the context seemed aimed more at “we can do it until the men come back and to it better.” Some women happily left the workforce and returned to being wives and mothers, but for others, the satisfaction felt from hard work was now embedded in their DNA. With the passing of time, changing traditions, and more education opportunities, women were ready to work more than ever, some while raising families simultaneously.
Support for Female Truckers
The Biden-Harris Administration also recognizes the opportunity to appeal to more female drivers to join the workforce and help contribute to the supply chain movement. Last year, the Administration announced they were focusing on appealing to the truck driver to attract more drivers with a particular highlight on female truckers. Learning why there are fewer female truckers and what obstacles they face will determine what needs to be done to bring in more female drivers. Long-haul trucking has primarily been considered a job dominated by males. Safety for female truck drivers is always a primary concern, but a life on the road can be dangerous regardless of who is sitting behind the wheel. Just like many male truckers, some women may not have or want a family, and a life of independence is what they crave. Other women may have raised families and are ready to embark on a new journey alone or with their significant other. The job of a truck driver is for anyone and everyone willing.
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