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Category: Transportation and Logistics

Supply Chain News: Share of Women Truck Drivers Growing but Slowly



Now above 8% in US

March 28, 2023

Slowly but steadily, the percent of women truck drivers in the US continues to grow.

Supply Chain Digest Says...


WIT also finds women are steadily growing in other roles in the trucking industry, now making up 40% of dispatchers and 75% of human resource managers in the sector.

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And that could be critical to addressing the often-discussed driver shortage in the US. Though some dispute the severity of the driver shortage, the American Trucking Associations, an industry trade group for freight carriers, estimated the driver shortage at 80,000 in 2021, with a warning that would rise to as high as 160,000 by 2030.

That as progress seems to be slow in the commercialization of autonomous truck technology that could help address the driver shortage, but now seems many years away before it could really have much of an impact.

What’s the answer to the shortage in the near to medium-term, before the autonomous technology really shows up?

The ATA has stressed the need or opportunity to expand the potential driver pool, notably changing laws to allow 18-year-old truck drivers on federal highways (as is already permitted under a number of state roads) – and bringing more women into the profession.

While the factors aren’t clear, the growth in the percentage of women drivers as a share of the total is steady but gradual.

As seen in the chart below from based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women now represent about 8% of truck and delivery drivers in the US, up from 5.4% a decade ago.

That growth led more than 15 years ago to another trade group, called naturally enough Women in Trucking (WIT). Among other activities, the association assists women to move into trucking from professions such as teaching and nursing. WIT now has 8,000 members in 10 countries.

Ellen Voie, CEO of WIT, told CNBC that women truck drivers are safer than men, noting the male commercial drivers are 20% more likely to be involved in an accident in areas such as going through intersections, saying women tend to be more cautious drivers.


Source: CNBC


(See More Below)





WIT also finds women are steadily growing in other roles in the trucking industry, now making up 40% of dispatchers and 75% of human resource managers in the sector.

One area where women are really lagging in the sector: mechanics/technicians, for which just 3.7% of positions are filled by women.

There are still many barriers. Physical safety remain worrisome issues for many. And Voie points out that trucks, truck stops and uniforms were all designed for men.

Any thoughts on women in trucking? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.




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