It is well documented that the U.S. is facing a shortage of drivers. As we discuss in our article, Trucking Industry Recruitment: The Need for the Next Generation of Drivers, the American Trucking Association (ATA) estimates that the current shortage is roughly 80,000, with this set to double in the next six years. One of the key efforts to combat this shortage is to improve the recruitment of women into the industry.
Our new series will look at the benefits of adding female drivers to your company, the objections to the career, programs attracting women to the profession, and ideas to enhance your recruitment of this demographic.
This our first article for this series will focus on the benefits of adding female drivers to your organization.
When looking to combat the driver shortage, why are women so important to this effort? Currently, women make up just 10% of CDL drivers in the U.S and only 4% of diesel mechanics. While this has grown significantly over the last decade, compared to the percentage of women in other professions, 51%, it is easy to see there is room to grow this segment.
According to the American Transportation Research Institute, women are safer drivers than men. Their study found that men were 88% more likely to have a reckless/careless/inattentive/ negligent driving conviction than women. They also found that men were 73% more likely to fail to obey traffic signal convictions and 70% more likely to have 1-15 miles over the speed limit convictions. Overall, they discovered that men were 40% more likely than women to be convicted for any driving-related offense. Women are more cautious, resulting in fewer accidents. Adding more women to your team may reduce damage to your equipment and lower your insurance costs over time.
Beyond their more cautious nature, women are known to be more emotionally intelligent, leading to better customer relations. It has been noted that women are easier to train as they are better, generally, at following directions. Their more detailed-oriented brain, that excels at multitasking, aids them in the completion of the paperwork.
Women are already an effective part of the transportation industry; with 38% of fleet safety professionals, 36% of leadership teams, and 45% of non-executive non-driver employees, it is beneficial to fleets to seek out female drivers and put their skills set to use on the road.
Our next article in this series will examine the objections recruiters may face in hiring female drivers.
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Debra Watkins covers recruitment and digital marketing for Lionzone. A Nashville native, after graduating from the University of Kentucky, Debra utilized her research and writing skills in the museum and heritage tourism fields, rising to director of two institutions, before returning to Nashville in 2020 to join Lionzone.