A Women in Trucking (WIT) survey has concluded that women account for nearly 12.1% of North America’s professional drivers, but preliminary 2021 Census data suggests Canadian-specific totals are actually far less than that.
Women now hold 16.4% of Canadian jobs in trucking, logistics and warehousing – up from 15% in 2015 — but account for just over 4% of Canada’s truck drivers, according to the Census results.
While the increase in the overall share of women may seem relatively small, Trucking HR Canada chief program officer Craig Faucette says the preliminary results might underestimate current totals. The 2021 Census data was conducted in the middle of the pandemic when many women left the industry to take care of their families, he explains.
“That is just a projection that we can’t really substantiate, but we at least know for sure that women are increasing their numbers within the industry.”
Female truck drivers accounted for 3.5% of truck drivers recorded in the 2015 Census. When announcing training funds for underrepresented workers last month, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said just 2% of his province’s truck drivers are female.
While new data about the female share of mechanics and technicians is not yet available, they accounted for just 2% of such roles in the 2015 Census.
The draw of office positions
However, office positions seem to be more attractive to women in the industry. According to Trucking HR Canada, women comprise 83.7% of general administration jobs and 80.3% of accounting and bookkeeping positions in the industry.
Similar trends were recorded through Women in Trucking’s 2023 gender diversity index study, which collected answers from 350 respondents in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Women occupied more than 74% of all HR and talent management jobs and nearly half of all safety and dispatcher roles, the survey found. And while more than 30% of leadership and C-Suite roles were occupied by women, only 12.1% of truck drivers and 7.5% of technicians were female.
Shares in most job categories were down slightly from 2022, except for safety and technician positions. The number of female safety professionals increased 1.1% to 41.6% this year, while the number of female technicians more than doubled.
The number of companies participating in the survey has almost doubled as well, rising from 180 to 350 respondents in 2023.
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