Could women be the new face of trucking? It is a question that may make some laugh and others cheer. The recruiting shortage has caused carriers to look into non-traditional methods and areas for people. Although women have been in the industry for decades in various vocations, lately there has been a real push for women to become drivers. As I work with many training schools here in Canada I see many women training to get into the industry and each year the groups get larger and larger.
I was training a class of future women drivers the other day and was
really impressed with the knowledge and quest for information that they showed during the class. When I conduct training classes for many of the men I find they are much more narrow focused on the
outcome and only listen to what they think they need to know. I found the women students were interested in learning as much as they can from whomever came to the class. For instance I still teach map reading in class even though GPS units are popular and available. It’s not that I think we should go back to maps, but it teaches students to look at the trip as a whole and think about what they may encounter along the way. You need that overview to do good trip planning.
The carriers I talk to understand that their industry is changing and if changes (which are coming anyway) in the way that runs are dispatched you may see more women in the industry. Women I find are not concerned with the type of work so much, but the hours. As single mothers and different ethnic backgrounds they want more consistency in home time. Other than that they are prepared to do the work and just want a level playing field of opportunity. If carriers can solve that problem making their operations more consistent in home versus away time you may find the industry more attractive to women becoming drivers. The women I taught in my recent class were willing to learn, listen, and do the work.
The women have already mastered the one trait that makes a good driver and that is attitude. Having a good attitude is the one thing that is very hard to teach someone, but with that trait mastered the rest of the industry specifics can be learned. So if you are looking for drivers and want drivers that are dedicated and willing to learn, then look to the women. You may have drivers willing to be the best they can be.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an artist, author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, consultant, and speaker. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your areas visit www.ttsao.com