Women can be a large part of the solution to the driver shortage if carriers are willing to adapt their recruiting and training programs.
Few people have written more extensively, or authoritatively, on the topic of women truckers than California-based Desiree Wood, publisher of the REAL Women in Trucking blog. In an extensive post, Desiree addresses several important lessons companies need to learn about women drivers.
Give Women Drivers The Opportunity To Connect With Other Women.
Potential and new-to-the-profession women truck drivers need to be able to seek advice from other women in their company, and that support also should be available on an industry level. Encourage your state trucking associations to provide professional support and information systems for female drivers.
Understand The Single Woman Driver.
More often than not these days, it’s the single woman, not her married counterpart, embarking on a truck-driving career. And, often as not, a single woman driver not only manages her truck from the driver’s seat, but her household as well—particularly if she’s also a single mother.
Become Part Of Her Support System.
Unlike a married man driving solo, a single woman trucker generally lacks a home support system that’s a phone call away. An employer who wants to retain her services as a driver must understand that she needs to be more flexible when taking home time.
Tailor Training Methods To The Woman Driver.
While women do need the same driving and compliance training provided their male counterparts, they also need gender-specific training on the personal challenges and dangers inherent in life on the road.
For example, being women means we are far more susceptible than men to personal attacks. Carrier trainers need to discuss and address these dangers head on.
Protect Your Woman Drivers.
Unfortunately, the risk of attack for women is not confined to outside sources. A company must have a strict policy against sexual harassment that extends to any and all encounters with women drivers who are co-workers.
Treat Women Right, And They’ll Return The Favor.
Too many female drivers are lost from the industry in the first year because of misleading recruiting, shallow training and carrier failure to address personal safety issues. That’s unfortunate because women truck drivers are usually meticulous, safe and take great pride in their work—and because truck driving can be a rewarding profession regardless of gender.
Click here to read the entire article, “Recruiting & Retaining Women as Truck Drivers”.