WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is searching for women to make up its newly-created Women of Trucking Advisory Board (WOTAB).
FMCSA officials said they wanted to kick off the board’s creation in March to coincide with Women’s History Month.
According to an FMCSA news release, the board’s goal is “to recruit, support and ensure the safety of women commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and the trucking industry at large.”
The board’s creation is mandated by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and part of the Biden-Harris Trucking Action Plan, which, according to the administration, “aims to improve job quality and recruit more people to the truck driving profession.”
As part of the Trucking Action Plan, the administration has also expanded registered apprenticeship programs, announced a driver compensation study and is engaging the entire trucking industry around issues of retention and recruitment.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has led round-table discussions and has also ridden along with a truck driver.
“We’re proud to launch the Women of Trucking Advisory Board to work together with drivers and trucking companies to help eliminate barriers that keep women from entering and staying in the trucking profession,” Buttigieg said.
“This advisory board is a key part of our Trucking Action Plan, which is focused on improving job quality for truckers and recruiting more people to join their ranks.”
FMCSA Acting Administrator Robin Hutcheson said that the WOTAB’s creation “furthers our commitment to collaboration, equity and safety across the trucking industry by evaluating existing and potential opportunities for women throughout the trucking industry.”
Women are significantly underrepresented in the trucking industry, holding only 24 percent of all transportation jobs, according to the FMCSA.
“WOTAB will coordinate with trucking companies, nonprofit organizations and trucking associations to support women in trucking,” the FMCSA news release stated.
The board will provide recommendations to the administrator of FMCSA and the transportation secretary, as well as tackle many areas, including:
- Evaluating barriers and trends that impact women in trucking across the country and ways to support women pursuing careers in trucking;
- Identifying opportunities to expand roles for women and increase the number of women in the trucking industry;
- Advising on policies that provide education, training, mentorship, or outreach to women in the trucking industry; and
- Reviewing opportunities to enhance safety, training, mentorship, and education for women in the trucking industry.
The board will include a minimum of eight members with diverse backgrounds, experience and certifications to provide balanced points of view.
The group will include:
- Women representing small, mid-sized, and large trucking companies, nonprofit organizations in the trucking industry;
- Trucking business associations;
- Independent owner-operators and professional truck drivers; and
- An institution of higher education or trucking trade school.
WOTAB’s charter runs through Feb. 11, 2024. Anyone interested in applying should visit www.fmcsa.dot.gov/wotab.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.