It’s quite incredible to see the camaraderie that women have for each other in this industry through social media and other networking platforms. I’ve never seen anything quite like it in other fields. It’s become apparent to me that women who work in trucking tend to be good communicators and willing to help others who need advice or someone to share their experiences with. They support each other through organizations like the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada who have taken up the cause and work to introduce women to the trucking industry through outreach.
These grassroots, member based organizations are almost exclusively started up by women who drive truck for a living and simply want to extend their assistance to other women. They get involved in the community to introduce women to trucking, letting them know that trucking is viable career opportunity for them as well as men. They offer programs that help educate and prepare women for a career in trucking. In addition to training, they also offer their members access to resources like driver mentors, advocacy, opportunities to network with other women in the industry and continuing education.
If a driver shortage is imminent, we must be creative in finding new ways to increase the number of female drivers going forward. Grassroots efforts will surely help, but additionally, industry leaders and trucking companies must be active in recruiting women and providing support mechanisms to help them be successful. We must have more presence in schools so that women and Millennials in general know that trucking is a rewarding profession that they can work towards. It also makes sense for the industry to be active in appealing to women who come from backgrounds where they are more likely to thrive in trucking. As well, the industry could put more focus into enlisting young couples and showing them the potential benefits and flexibility that driving could afford in addition to their earning potential as a driving team.
Of all the women truckers I’ve met, they definitely have strong personalities and a whole lot of courage. Trucking is a profession that takes a great deal of dedication and is better suited to individuals who can mentally deal with the challenges of the job and the realities that come with being away from home and family for long periods of time. It’s not easy and it’s not for everyone, but it can be incredibly rewarding and a great opportunity for women, particularly now that the industry is much more accepting of women behind the wheel.