Women In Trucking aims to dispel misconceptions about industry

The trucking industry has recently witnessed a steady rise in the number of women venturing into careers traditionally dominated by men. However, industry misconceptions continue to discourage generations of women from participating, making recruiting and retaining women a concern for fleet operators. 

On Wednesday during FreightWaves’ Enterprise Fleet Summit, Jennifer Hedrick, the president and CEO of the Women In Trucking Association, shed light on these challenges.

One of the primary misconceptions surrounding the industry is that truck driving does not offer the flexibility required by women with family responsibilities. Hedrick challenged this notion by highlighting the evolving landscape of the industry — including positions that offer regional or local routes.

“There is still this perception that if you are an over-the-road driver, you are gone for long periods of time. … There are a lot of driving careers where women can leave in the morning and return in the evening to fulfill all the responsibilities that they need to handle,” she said.

She believes it’s important to present a more accurate portrayal of the diverse range of driving opportunities available to women.

Safety is another concern that women contemplating a career in trucking may have. Historically, truck stops and rest areas have been viewed as potentially unsafe environments for female drivers. Hedrick emphasized the strides that have been made in improving safety conditions at these locations.

She also said women promote a safer industry as a whole.

“There is data out there that shows that women drivers are safer on the road. … [Their] emotional intelligence is high, and so that brings a lot of efficiencies and maturity to work environments,” said Hedrick.

Moreover, opportunities for women in the trucking industry extend beyond the driver’s seat. Hedrick encourages women to explore nondriver roles such as mechanics, dispatchers, logistics coordinators and technology-related positions. 

“We are constantly hearing about shortages of mechanics and technicians,” she explained. “Every day there is some new information out there about how [technology] could potentially impact [our industry’s] available roles and organizations.”

As the industry continues to evolve and embrace automation and digitalization, there will be increasing demand for diverse skill sets. Encouraging women to pursue these roles can contribute to a more inclusive and dynamic workforce.

Hedrick underscored the significance of education and outreach in dispelling the misconceptions faced by women in the trucking industry. These tend to arise from a lack of information and understanding. By actively engaging with communities, schools and potential candidates, industry stakeholders can address these issues head-on.

“[We are] making sure that we educated across a variety of different mediums so that those interested in joining the industry, even those who are already in the industry, and companies who are looking to recruit women in particular, have all the resources they need,” she said.

Watch now: Empowering Women in Trucking for a Stronger Future – Jennifer Hedrick

.kt-btns_b8089d-c6 .kt-btn-wrap-0 {margin-right:5px;}.kt-btns_b8089d-c6 .kt-btn-wrap-0 .kt-button {color:#ffffff;background:rgba(52, 117, 182, 1);border-color:rgba(85, 85, 85, 1);}.kt-btns_b8089d-c6 .kt-btn-wrap-0 .kt-button:hover, .kt-btns_b8089d-c6 .kt-btn-wrap-0 .kt-button:focus {color:#ffffff;border-color:rgba(68, 68, 68, 1);}.kt-btns_b8089d-c6 .kt-btn-wrap-0 .kt-button::before {display:none;}.kt-btns_b8089d-c6 .kt-btn-wrap-0 .kt-button:hover, .kt-btns_b8089d-c6 .kt-btn-wrap-0 .kt-button:focus {background:rgba(68, 68, 68, 1);}@media (min-width: 768px) and (max-width: 1024px) {.kt-btns_b8089d-c6 .kt-btn-wrap-0 .kt-button {}}@media (max-width: 767px) {.kt-btns_b8089d-c6 .kt-btn-wrap-0 .kt-button {}}

Read more

Carrier relationships vital to deploying autonomous technologies

Get down to basics to attract drivers

Thinking about getting into trucking? Now is not the time

The post Women In Trucking aims to dispel misconceptions about industry appeared first on FreightWaves.

Source: freightwaves - Women In Trucking aims to dispel misconceptions about industry
Editor: Grace Sharkey