Over the past years, we have continued to hear about driver shortages and declines in trucking industry employment. The driver shortage is a growing concern. In recent months, a study published by the American Transportation Research Institute revealed that wages have surpassed fuel as the largest operational cost.
Increasing recruiting efforts and hiring among women could be an answer to driver shortages and employment declines, and help to manage spikes in driver pay. Currently, women comprise only a small percentage of drivers in the trucking industry; however, they are the largest untapped labor pool and are fully capable of doing the job successfully.
Other factors to consider are cost impacts. Although there is not corrobative data to support, there has been talk of other potential cost reductions. Could there be cost reductions in repairs and maintenance and crash rates with an increase in female drivers? Certainly, these are things that should be considered, or at least investigated.
To help accomplish the mission of bringing more women into the trucking industry, the culture and recruitment practices within the industry may need to be expanded. For one thing, job descriptions and requirements would need to be updated. Also, carriers might consider changes in technology or equipment. For example, some carriers are opting for automatic transmissions on power units, hoping that it may attract more female drivers.
In conclusion, a final sales pitch to women: Many opportunities exist within the trucking, industry, and if you are willing to try to new things, then the trucking industry welcomes you!