It’s the heartburn shared by nearly every trucking company owner – not enough drivers. And that heartburn is real! According to the American Trucking Association, trucking is currently about 50,000 drivers short and that shortage is expected to triple by 2026. While the economy is fueling more demand for additional truckers, the existing pool of drivers is approaching retirement age. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average trucker is a 55-year-old man. With about 93% of truckers being male, the obvious and frequently asked question is …why aren’t there more women drivers?
“Why does 50% of the population (women) represent only 7% of the commercial drivers in the industry?”
Could the disparity in the ratio of male-to-female drivers be the result of poor marketing by the industry? A recent article entitled More Women Truck Drivers: A Solution to Many Industry and Gender Challenges identified ways to market driving careers to women more effectively. Key areas of interest to women for promotion include:
Closing the Pay Gap
Women feel it every day.
There is a real disparity in wages earned by women compared to men. On average, they earned 28% less than men in 2017. The good news is, the gap is slowly closing. Driver pay is up about 12% year-over-year and most industry compensation plans use per-mile rates. Consequently, the industry should promote its increasing compensation trends and as a place where women can earn pay equal to men.
As a minority-owned (woman) company, we at DriverSource can testify to the real opportunities this industry represents for women. Women-owned businesses are growing at five times the national average. Trucking companies need to improve their promotion of the entrepreneurial opportunities afforded in the logistics industry. Trucking should be promoted as a high-growth, high-wage industry that can provide independent women contractors entrepreneurial avenues with high market demand already established.
Historically, the lifestyle associated with trucking hasn’t supported raising a family or being a care provider. But things are changing. Increasingly, there are more daily runs available for drivers. Carriers are working to provide nightly or weekly home-time to their drivers. Also, more women are looking for second careers. These changes in the industry combined with more fleets offering no-cost or low-cost CDL training programs make trucking an easy-access alternative career for women.
As a woman-owned business, DriverSource supports any marketing approach that will increase the number of women drivers. We see them as one of the most viable solutions to our industry’s driver shortage. Whether it is seeking better and equal pay, pursuing an entrepreneurial dream, or looking for a lifestyle change, truck driving offers attractive opportunities for women.
Bill D for DriverSource