The Woman in Trucking Index is a yearly report that showcases the percentage of women working in various roles in the trucking industry. This index shows where there has been successful growth and areas for improvement. The 2022 Index highlights eight critical roles in the trucking industry: Leadership, Board Membership, HR/ Talent Management, Technical, Professional Drivers, Dispatchers, and Safety.
Today, we are dissecting the report: areas where gains are being made and areas where improvement has not yet been seen.
Women currently make up roughly 46% of the workforce. The number of women active in the workforce was reduced by the pandemic. With this percentage in mind, it is easy to see, just by looking at these numbers, that there is room for women to grow in all areas of the trucking industry. There is just one area of clear dominance for women, HR/ Talent Management.
In 2022, there have been growth in two key areas, C-Suite and Professional Drivers. The number of women in C-Suite positions in publicly traded companies has increased to 15%, up from 9% in 2020. The number of female professional drivers has risen to 13.7%, up from 10% in 2019.
Women's "natural" skill set is ideal for growth in these two sectors. Women's higher EQ (emotional intelligence) is perfect for management, along with their attention to detail, multi-tasking, planning, and communication abilities.
The more cautious nature of women makes them safer drivers than their male counterparts. For more information on why women are a perfect choice for driving, please see Trucking Industry Recruitment: Why Are We Focused on Recruiting Women.
Female Dominated Positions
Looking at the numbers, we can see that women dominate in the sector of HR/Talent Management. This is a traditionally female role in the trucking industry and across the board. Women hold roughly 80% of all HR positions across industries in the U.S.
Again, this is due to the natural skill set of women. While it is true the skills that many, but not all women, bring to the table are well suited to this people-facing career choice, it is time for us to think outside the box and allow women to grow their skills and put them to use in other facets of the industry, as professional drivers, or technicians.
While there is room for growth of women across sectors in the trucking industry, there is one area where women are seriously underrepresented, technicians.
The need for technicians will only grow over the next 10- 20 years. At the rate at which U.S. technical schools produce trained technicians, we will not be able to keep up with demand. Not only do we need to promote this career option to women, but we also need to invest in more training opportunities for this in-demand skill.
The push to promote women in the trucking industry is resulting in improvements in the number of women in the field, but there is still much room for improvement. Growth in this industry requires continued improvement in showcasing and recruiting for the full range of opportunities in trucking for women.
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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.