Home Truck News Carriers with women-specific recruiting initiatives have more female drivers, ATRI says -...

Carriers with women-specific recruiting initiatives have more female drivers, ATRI says – Truck News

Carriers that implement women-specific recruiting and retention initiatives have a higher percentage of women drivers (8.1%) than those without (5%), according to the latest American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) research.

Industry image and perception, training school completion, truck parking shortages, restroom access, and gender harassment and discrimination were among the challenges identified.

ATRI released new research identifying approaches to increase the number of women truck drivers entering and staying in the industry. It lays out an action plan for the industry – with discrete steps for motor carriers, truck driver training schools and truck drivers – all designed to make trucking careers more attractive to women.

ATRI table on women drivers' challenges
(Table: ATRI)

The research found that women are drawn to driving careers for the income potential, highlighting the fact that pay parity for women and men is much more prevalent in the trucking industry than in other fields. 

Women were concerned about how social media has been used among some of the younger drivers. They said some new entrants to the industry, particularly women, use social media to convey their location, length of time at a location and what they were hauling. Veteran women drivers felt that sharing their location and what they haul was risky behavior that could lead to undesired consequences, like cargo theft or unwanted attention or harassment. 

Veterans suggested focusing on positivity on social media and training to prevent improper usage. Social media policies also help and can improve driver safety and security.  

Inability to access exercise facilities

The report also found women were keen to build healthy habits on the road. Inability to access exercise facilities was the most frequently reported issue among women, as 42.2% of women encounter this daily.  Additionally, women drivers emphasized the need to prepare meals in advance to minimize snacking and improve diet.

Truck parking was ranked as the top issue by focus group participants.  More than 41% of women drivers struggle to find parking daily. Women can increase personal safety at parking facilities by bringing a dog, having a co-driver, parking in well-lit areas, and researching parking facilities in advance.  

More than 39% struggled to access restroom facilities daily.

Among all the reasons given for why it is more challenging for women to be truck drivers, 12.2% of responses related to restrooms access and cleanliness. ATRI’s research included input from thousands of truck drivers, motor carriers and truck driver training schools through surveys, interviews and a women driver focus group to identify the underlying factors that generate challenges, as well as strategies for navigating and overcoming these barriers to success for women drivers.

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