This year, we’d like to share our hopes for the coming year with ten ways to support the Women In Trucking Association mission to increase the percentage of women employed in the trucking industry.
#1 More carriers will start monitoring their percentages of female drivers and will set targets to increase those levels. They should hold recruiters, dispatchers, and everyone in management accountable for not only hiring more women, but retaining the ones they already have. Ten years ago, carriers insisted they didn’t care about the age, gender or race of their drivers. Now more and more companies are understanding why we should focus more on diversity. The WIT Index tracks progress in the percentage of over the road female drivers and although it’s increased to 7.89 percent in 2018 (up from 7.13 percent in 2017), we still have a long way to go.
#2 Companies will also appreciate more diversity in their management team. Women comprise only 23 percent of leaders in trucking companies in 2018. While this is slightly higher than in the past, we still have a long way to go. For publicly traded trucking companies, only eight percent of women are promoted to the executive level, and ten of the sixteen publicly traded carriers have NO women in management.
#3 We’d like to see more women will serve on trucking company boards of directors. California recently passed a law that requires publicly traded companies to place at least one woman on the board. While quotas seem so gratuitous, we do know that more women should have a seat at the table, especially in trucking companies. Of the 17 publicly traded trucking companies, four of them have NO women on their boards. Women comprise only 15 percent of directors in our industry, compared to over 22 percent for women serving on the board of Fortune 500 companies.
#4 Recruiting ads will be more inclusive. In a recent DriverIQ survey, 35 percent of carriers reported that they did not have ANY programs aimed at attracting female drivers. Only nineteen percent said they had recruiting ads specifically targeting women. The old ads showing a wife and two kids at home with a picket fence is long gone. It’s time to start using graphics and words that target female drivers.
#5 With the help of Women In Trucking Association and Expediter Services, more women will become owner operators or will expand their small fleets. The 150 Women Owned Business Challenge is a collaborate program to help women buy their first truck or to buy more trucks. As of the end of 2018, we were halfway to our goal of empowering 150 women. By the end of 2019, we’d like to increase those numbers to include more women as business owners. Nearly every large carrier today started with a “man and a truck” and now, we want to push toward the future by creating more companies started by “a woman and a truck.”
#6 In 2014 the Women In Trucking Association held its first conference and attracted over 300 attendees. This past November, our fourth annual Accelerate! Conference and Expo, included over 830 registered attendees. We are anticipating a record setting audience again this year, as our after-event survey showed that 94% said the conference fulfilled their reason for attending (with 55% of these saying “Yes, absolutely!”) Mark your calendar for September 30-October 2, 2019.
#7 We’d like to see more regulators, legislators and industry media professionals go on ride-alongs with our Image Team members. We want them to see the road from the cab of a truck and to better understand what our female (and male) drivers face on a daily basis. The people who create the laws that affect our drivers should take the opportunity to see it for themselves.
#8 Each Saturday you can hear the Women In Trucking Show on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Trucking channel 146 at 10 am until noon central. We would love to hear from more of you about what topics you’d like to see covered or what guests you’d want to hear from. This show is to expand our network to give more exposure to the challenges and opportunities for women in the trucking industry. Be sure to tune in and more importantly, call us!
These are only eight of our goals for 2019 and the years beyond. If you’re not a member of the Women In Trucking Association, consider joining us. We’re looking forward to a very successful and rewarding year! Find us at https://www.womenintrucking.org.