Home Truck News Safety, industry image remain top concerns among women: THRC  - Truck News

Safety, industry image remain top concerns among women: THRC  – Truck News

One in four career-seeking women would consider a job in the trucking and logistics sector, according to Trucking HR Canada’s survey report. Of those women who would consider a career in trucking and logistics, the majority would prefer office jobs over driving a truck. 

While the industry has made significant progress in attracting female talent to the industry, there is much more work to be done. The trucking industry employed 26,235 more women in 2021 than in 2016, and the number of female truck drivers increased by 43% in these five years, reaching 14,270. However, women still make up around 4% of the Canadian truck driving force.

(Photo: THRC)

Last year, trucking HR Canada (THRC) surveyed 1,500 Canadian women — who were either active job-seekers or represented the current industry’s workforce as an employer or employee — to better understand the barriers to entry women experience in the trucking industry. 

Safety concerns and industry perceptions

The results revealed that to address the biggest gaps, industry employers should continue their efforts to detach the industry from its stereotypical image of an unsafe “boys club” environment and spread awareness about the opportunities available in the industry, targeting women. 

As of now, most career-seeking women (77%) would not consider driving a truck — short or longhaul. Less than 40% said they’d look into fleet and warehouse management jobs. Instead, more than half of the surveyed women said that they’d prefer jobs in human resources, customer service and administration. Other popular choices include sales, finance and business analysis. 

This is because safety remains one of the top concerns.  

“As a woman myself, I would not feel safe in some alleyways and shipping docks from a personal safety perspective. This does describe my experiences, as over the years I have also done deliveries and have found myself in situations where I did not feel safe,” wrote a respondent from B.C. in a survey.

(Photo: THRC)

More than half of surveyed women looking for jobs felt the trucking industry is unsafe, and 59% admitted that they would worry about being harassed if they worked in trucking.

However, the Government of Canada’s 2021 annual report on workplace harassment and violence shows that the rate of occurrences in trucking is roughly proportionate to the size of the industry. 

Potential for change: increasing knowledge and interest

So, it is not just on the question of safety that the industry’s image suffers. 

THRC uncovered gaps in understanding about many aspects of the industry. Just one in four career-seeking women said they would consider a career in trucking and logistics, but this reluctance is in part due to a lack of knowledge about the industry. 

Only a third of respondents said they were familiar with the types of jobs available in the industry. However, 49% of them indicated they’ve seen advertisements or information on careers in trucking during their job search. 

When asked to rank their impressions of various industries, the respondents placed trucking at the bottom of the list, above resource extraction but below all other industries like manufacturing, retail, hospitality, air transport, healthcare, and more. 

“However, after being informed about a range of career opportunities beyond driving trucks, 58% of respondents felt more positively inclined toward the industry,” the report reads. “In other words, decoupling the industry from and getting more of them to pursue careers in trucking. Some might even feel better about getting behind the wheel if they saw more women driving trucks.”

While two-thirds of respondents said women just “aren’t interested” in the trucking industry, THRC’s focus group of 24 women felt otherwise and believed that women-centric advertising could help to diversify the talent pool. 


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