WASHINGTON — Just 8% of professional truck drivers are women.
And while that’s an all-time high, it’s still lagging behind the national average for workforce participation among females.
Similarly, just 4% of all diesel technicians are women.
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) announced in a Monday, July 18, news release that it is working to change these statistics by launching a new program dubbed Women in Motion (WIM).
“The trucking industry relies on women — whether in the boardroom, as a technician or behind the wheel — and we believe that by highlighting the many contributions the women already in trucking make, we can demonstrate what a rewarding and lucrative career path it can be for millions of others,” ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said. “The name Women in Motion is an apt description of our industry, and I’m pleased that ATA is recognizing these individuals who are critical to our industry and looking for solutions to make their jobs even more gratifying and more secure.”
According to the news release, WIM “is designed to elevate and highlight the contributions of women to the trucking industry.”
ATA officials say that the goals for WIM include encouraging more women to consider a career in trucking, along with addressing issues within the policy arena that specifically impact women.
The WIM program will also “focus on the core issues women face on the road and in the industry,” according to ATA officials.
“Working with coalition partners, policymakers, and business leaders, Women in Motion will work to provide a more secure work environment for women in the industry, including advocating for issues like safer truck parking, as well as greater diversity in trucking,” the news release stated. “The program will also provide support and development opportunities for women in the industry, as well as promoting trucking as a career path to women across the country.”
At the Women in Motion Steering Committee and Speakers Bureau website, women can find research information and tools that can be used to promote and educate others about opportunities within the industry.
A new role within the ATA will oversee day-to-day management of the program.
“Women in Motion will help the industry reach this untapped and underutilized segment of the population, highlighting the importance of and opportunities in trucking,” the news release stated.
Rhonda Hartman, professional truck driver at Old Dominion Freight Line, said she is proud to be a professional truck driver.
“This has been a great job — with great pay and benefits — and one that I truly believe more women should consider,” she said.
Cari Baylor, president of Baylor Trucking, said that she knows firsthand that while trucking can be a tough job, “it is a rewarding and important one.”
“I’m glad to see ATA launching this new initiative to celebrate the contributions of the many women in our industry and advocate for issues such as safe truck parking that our industry deserves,” she added.
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.