Women are increasingly seeking jobs as truck drivers as the trucking industry copes with a severe worker shortage, according to CNBC.
The numbers: “Women now make up almost 8% of truck drivers and sales delivery drivers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics”—up from about 5% a decade ago.
- “That number is even higher—14%—for Class A license road drivers (which includes any driver who can operate vehicles weighing over 26,000 pounds), almost double what it was just five years ago, according to the 2022 Women In Trucking Index.”
- “Women also account for a third of C-Suite executives in transportation, compared with nearly 24% in executive positions four years earlier, according to the index.”
The shortage: The trucking industry is especially interested in recruiting more women due to its acute shortage of workers—which could leave the industry short 160,000 drivers by 2030, according to the American Trucking Association.
- “Unions including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters have worked to end violence and harassment of women on the job and remove barriers to women entering the industry, including safety risks, wage inequities and lack of training and support.”
Employee engagement: And here’s another encouraging finding: women seem to be satisfied with their trucking jobs, with 83% of female truckers saying that young people should seek careers in the industry, according to a survey by insurance agency JW Surety Bonds.
- “The survey of 386 truck drivers—60% of whom were female—found female truckers were 18% less likely than male truckers to feel lonely on the job and 28% less likely to regret becoming a truck driver.”
Don’t forget social media: There’s an influencer for everything, so of course female truckers are promoting their work online.
- “‘There are TikTok videos [where] a lot of women were excited to work independently, their schedules tended to be more flexible, and they’re seeing great pay,’ said Maddie Weirman, reactive data lead at marketing agency Fractl, who led the research [for the JW Surety Bonds survey]. ‘Women are starting to see that there are opportunities for them.’”
The MI: As manufacturing deals with its own worker shortage, the Manufacturing Institute (the NAM’s 501(c)3 workforce development and education affiliate) is also working hard to increase the number of women workers in the industry.
- Its 35×30 campaign is an initiative to increase the percentage of women in the industry to 35% by 2030—which translates to half a million more workers in the industry. (Learn more here.)
- Check out this recent webinar—featuring speakers from Toyota, Cornerstone Building Brands, Pioneer Service Inc. and 3M—on improving child care offerings, which can help attract women workers.