Once upon a time, society enforced rigid gender norms by which men and women were expected to function.
But, as cultural norms have shifted, we often see women defy traditional gender roles. Taking ownership of their lives and trying out vocations is traditionally considered “men’s work.”
Today’s women challenge the norms of our traditional society. This piece will discuss women who are challenging gender norms women in trucking, the changing perception of women truckers, and the obstacles they confront.
Let’s take a look.
Women are making progress in the trucking industry.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than a third of fathers are stay-at-home dads, while more women than ever before have joined the labor field. Even though there are more and more women in the workforce, truck driving has always been male-dominated.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the over three million people who make their living as truck drivers, only six percent are female (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012)
One of the most outstanding sectors in the U.S. is trucking, with over 3.5 million active drivers and 8.7 million workers. Despite the enormous numbers, the trucking sector is suffering a workforce crisis that will only worsen.
The trucking stereotype for women truckers
There’s no denying that truck driving is and has always been primarily a male-dominated industry. This role was seen as inherently unsuitable for women for a long time because it was hard, harsh, and not respected.
The stereotypical picture that comes to mind is one of a racist, masculine, and backward society in which women who value themselves have no position.
Unfortunately, it’s a common misconception that women can’t drive safely or handle the complex spatial challenges of the job. This makes even women who are interested in the field less likely to go into it.
1: Women in trucking are seen as physically unfit for the profession.
However, this is untrue. Women are as strong and skilled as men in driving and handling commercial trucks. They can lift and drive like men.
2: Another trucking myth is that women can’t handle long hours and loneliness.
Women are as robust and adaptive as men regarding employment expectations. Women truckers use technology to remain in touch with friends and family and chill during breaks.
3: Lastly, women are supposedly terrible drivers.
Compared to males, women have a much lower risk of being involved in an accident and a significantly higher risk of not following safety protocols.
“Contrary to the conventional wisdom of men, women are much safer drivers.” “They’re significantly safer and much less likely to get into the risk-taking actions that lead to crashes.” -Russ Rader (The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s spokesperson).
How do women in trucking confront unique challenges?
Truckers are the most important link in the U.S. supply chain, transporting commodities that affect every part of our lives. Women are revolutionizing this key profession with greater frequency.
Here are some examples:
“The 36-year-old mom of 2, Charlotte Rankin, brings in $144,000 a year as a truck driver.” (source)
“Back in the middle of the twentieth century, people saw trucking as a “man’s job” because of how physically demanding it was.” -Ellen Voie, president, and CEO of Women in Trucking (source).
“There are so many incredible women, including women much older than me, out on the road.” “Women of all shapes, sizes, ages, and races” – Vanita Johnson (Professional truck driver)
Many obstacles remain for women in trucking, but they may be overcome with the right resources and encouragement.
How to be successful as a woman in the trucking industry?
Choosing a trucking industry to work in involves several aspects. Large transportation companies may offer free CDL training but low salaries. Medium or smaller trucking companies may provide a higher wage but won’t pay for tuition.
Women in the transportation sector are dispelling preconceptions and proving their competence. They also use tuition incentives, self-defense classes, and husband-and-wife teams to entice female drivers.
Women lobby for flexible work hours and paid leave to recruit female drivers. Lastly, women are using their power to change what people think about them in the trucking industry and show that they can drive and do well.
What you need to do is research and determine what matters. Ask about flexible hours, maternity leave, safe equipment, vacation pay, raises and bonuses, and the chance to move up in the company during the interview.
Life and professional success depend on confidence. Even in a male-dominated field, it can be hard to feel confident, but acting confidently usually leads to success.
People can only expect to get hired for some jobs they apply for. But as a woman in trucking, your chances of getting a job will increase the more interviews and applications you send out. If you are looking for work, you should look for it.
Despite a shortage of skilled drivers, women make up less than 10% of the skilled professions sector. Undoubtedly, there are obstacles. If women want to be more skilled or interested in the trucking industry, they need to get over the fact that they don’t know much about it and have false ideas about it. However, women have done trade occupations successfully.
Women drivers are shattering prejudices and stigmas and inspiring many girls who previously could not attend school or college due to road and public transit abuse.