The trucking industry is facing a major driver shortage and has been for a few years.
In 2018, the shortage of truckers was 60,800, and that number has continued to grow. Despite this, many women who are interested in the industry are still reluctant to join.
For a long time, the transportation industry was stereotypically considered male. Over the years, this has slowly changed, but women still face many challenges in the industry, including gender stereotypes, safety concerns, and physical challenges. More women truckers are driving now than ever before, but the number is still quite low.
In an interview, Ellen Voie, president and CEO of The Women in Trucking Association said, “If you’re happy with 7% female drivers and 14% of women in management, then you probably don’t think it’s important to encourage women to look at careers in this industry. But we aren’t satisfied with that.”
Although there are challenges for women truckers, they can be overcome. Keep reading to learn about how to succeed as a woman in the trucking industry.
Find the Right Company
Trucking can be a difficult industry to break into, especially as a woman. So it’s important that you choose the right companies to apply for.
There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when choosing a trucking company to work for.
A large trucking company may offer free CDL training but pay lower wages. A medium or smaller trucking company probably won’t pay for your training but will offer a more competitive salary.
Do your research, and decide what’s important to you. When interviewing for a company, ask about criteria like flexibility in hours, maternity leave, equipment safety, vacation pay, raises and bonuses, and the opportunity to advance in the workplace.
Not every company will offer the highest pay, flexible hours, and a great maternity plan, so it’s up to you to consider what is best for you and prioritize those factors when choosing a workplace.
As a woman, you also want to make sure the company you choose supports gender diversity. Women in Trucking has put together a list of the 100 best trucking companies for women to work for.
Confidence is Key
Confidence is key in life and in your career. While it can be hard to feel confident sometimes, especially in a male-dominated industry, acting with confidence is often the key to success.
Studies show that men tend to apply for a job when they meet 60% of the qualification, while women will often only apply for jobs if they feel 100% qualified. Usually, this is because women don’t have the confidence that they will be hired. However, men feel confident even when they don’t meet all the qualifications.
Of course, you won’t get every job you apply for. But the more you apply and interview, the more success you will have as a female in the trucking industry. If you want a job, go for it.
Keep Your Skills Up-To-Date
If you want to look, feel, and act confident, get your skills up-to-date. Taking CDL courses is a great way to ensure you feel confident in your work, and CDL courses can help expand your career.
CDL endorsements help you grow your skillset. You can choose to get the “H” CDL endorsement, which qualifies you to haul hazardous materials. Or the “T” endorsement, which entitles you to drive double and triple trailers.
You can add as many endorsements as you want to your license if you pass the knowledge and skills tests. These endorsements will help you find success in the industry because you will be qualified to accept more jobs.
Truck driver training is an essential part of upskilling and a great way to improve your job performance and feel comfortable on the road. In truck driver training, you can learn defensive driving, safety procedures and practices, how to secure a load, and many more useful and essential trucking skills.
Trucking Companies Want Female Drivers: Use This to Your Advantage
In recent years, there has been a push to diversify the trucking industry. Gender and racial diversity are finally starting to be recognized as an important aspect of the industry. And trucking companies are beginning to find new ways to recruit that target a more diverse range of drivers, including more female drivers.
Traditionally, trucking companies have had men in leadership and management positions and have targeted their recruitment ads towards men. But this is starting to change as companies begin to learn how to appeal to female drivers and create a more inclusive workplace.
Female-led organizations like Women in Trucking have begun to teach trucking companies how to diversify and become welcoming and inclusive workplaces for all.
Use resources like blogs, forums, and the trucking community to find equal-opportunity employers and apply! Trucking companies want to diversify, so take advantage of this opportunity.
Find Support in Your Community
There are still many challenges for women working in the trucking industry, but those challenges are surmountable, especially with a strong support network.
Look for other female truckers who can share advice and experience. Whether you meet them in person or read people’s experiences online, this can be a great way to remind yourself that women do have a place in the trucking industry.
Some successful women truckers have even created large social media platforms and youtube channels to share their experiences.
If you have the opportunity to reach out in person to other women, do so. But if you haven’t found an in-person community yet, join an online forum to find a supportive network of women truckers.
Success is Within Reach
Joining a new career or trying to advance your career is always intimidating. And when you are a woman working in a male-dominated industry, it can feel like the hurdles are impossible to get over. But with confidence, proper training and licensing, and a strong community, you can find success in the trucking industry.
As a female trucker, you have a lot on your plate. So you need to know that your truck maintenance and repairs are in good hands. At Kelly’s Truck, we have over 50 years of experience, and we offer a large variety of services.
Kelly’s Truck is here for all your truck repair and maintenance needs, whether large or small. Give us a call today at 1-800-793-9282 or stop in at our San Leandro location. Or, if you’re curious about our pricing, you can request a quote online.