PLOVER Wis. — In a new whitepaper titled “Addressing Gender Bias and Harassment in the Trucking Industry,” the Women in Trucking Association (WIT) reported that while a majority of poll respondents (55%) said that the trucking industry overall is safe for women, many have experienced verbally offensive comments or verbal threats within the last five years.
In fact, the research found that that 56% of female drivers reported being the recipients of such comments more than once, while another 13% reported it has happened to them once.
“Gender bias and harassment have been primary concerns of current and prospective female professional drivers and is deserving of all stakeholders’ time and attention,” according to a WIT news release.
Approximately 29% of respondents said they have not been on the receiving end of verbally offensive comments.
In addition, approximately 28% reported that they have received verbal threats more than once, and another 21% said it has happened to them once.
Approximately 49% said they have not ever received a verbal threat on the job.
Female drivers reported that other concerns are unwanted physical advances or rape, with 39% of respondents saying they have received unwanted physical advances more than once, according to WIT.
WIT noted that another 18% of female truck drivers reported that they have experienced this one time on the job.
Approximately 4% of respondents said they have experienced rape, while another 2% said they experienced rape more than once. Another 6% did not wish to answer.
Approximately 41% said they have not been the victim of an unwanted physical advance.
More than 37% of respondents reported their company doesn’t have a harassment policy or were unsure of whether their company has one.
“The Women In Trucking Association is dedicated to encouraging companies to create a safer work environment women in our industry,” said Ellen Voie, president and CEO of WIT.
There are a number of corporate policy recommendations on gender bias and harassment that Voie recommends, including:
- Implementing and enforcing workplace harassment policies specifically outlining what is and isn’t tolerated in the workplace and what consequences will come from violating the policy. All gender bias and harassment policies also should guarantee that employees who report gender bias and/or harassment won’t suffer adverse job consequences. These policies should be communicated to employees routinely, not just during initial training.
- Implementing same-gender training programs, as driving training often requires spending long periods with a member of the opposite gender, and is a top area where gender bias and harassment are perpetuated.
- Employing more women in management roles, as company leadership staff that includes appropriate gender representation of its employee base is far more equipped to understand, address, and correct the many ways gender bias and harassment persist in the workplace.
This whitepaper is the second of a series focused on safety and harassment issues for women in the transportation industry.
To download a copy of the whitepaper, click here.
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.