As more women enter the transportation industry, supportive resources and training are increasingly important to launch women into exciting careers.
Southwest Truck Driver Training offers comprehensive programs for anyone, provided by a diverse staff, including female instructors dedicated to helping each student be successful.
How Many Truckers Are Women?
The number of female truckers is rising. According to the 2023 Women in Trucking (WIT) Index, women comprise 12% of drivers with commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs). In 2019, women accounted for over 10% of truckers; in 2017, they only accounted for approximately 8%. The steady increase in female drivers is expected to continue as more women pursue training and find work in trucking.
There is a wide range of opportunities for individuals with CDLs, including operating passenger buses, cement mixers, delivery trucks, and transport trucks. With proper training, any woman can meet the requirements to become a trucker with either a Class A or Class B CDL.
In addition to driving roles, there are various other opportunities for women in the transportation industry. The 2023 WIT index reports that women account for 44% of dispatchers, 37% of company leaders, and 32% of C-suite roles in transportation companies.
Challenges Faced by Women in Trucking
While the number of women in transportation is on the rise, there are still obstacles to overcome in the historically male-dominated industry. Although women may face some challenges, many are proud to hold these vital transportation careers. As more women enter the field, these challenges are being addressed and reduced.
Some of the most common obstacles women in transportation may disproportionately face include:
Challenge #1: Safety
We’re not talking about safety records of drivers who are women: WIT reports that women are typically safe drivers who make great candidates for trucking. However, many female drivers worry about their safety on the job at rest stops and other isolated locations. The Women in Trucking organization works with female drivers, transportation companies, and manufacturers nationwide to implement additional safety features, like improved lighting and security at rest stops and better ergonomics and safety features for cabs.
How Southwest Truck Driver Training Makes a Difference
The right training can make a difference for women driving their routes. Southwest Truck Driver Training has a diverse team of instructors, including women instructors, dedicated to teaching practical and functional safety for students training to become drivers.
Challenge #2: Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is a priority for many women (and men!) in trucking, particularly for those with partners or children. While long-haul trucking offers freedom and flexibility with scheduling and travel opportunities, it involves nontraditional work hours with lots of time away from home.
Many truckers overcome these challenges by driving alongside partners—which can sometimes include significant others, particularly if both are in the industry—or driving locally.
How Southwest Truck Driver Training Makes a Difference
Finding the right transportation role and company can make a world of difference in attaining a work-life balance. With lifetime career placement resources, Southwest Truck Driver Training can help you find a good fit.
Challenge #3: Culture and Resources
Some women worry about being accepted in the industry and having the same opportunities, accommodations, and resources as their male counterparts. The good news is that the increased number of female drivers and advocates like WIT has led to more equipment and infrastructure in the industry being designed with the needs of men and women in mind.
Having the support of other women, unions, and organizations can help make female drivers feel more welcome, confident, and supported. Joining a union, participating in surveys, or becoming members of organizations like Women in Trucking can help make a difference for women in the industry overall.
Resources for Women in Trucking
If you’re considering a career in trucking, many resources are available to help you succeed or even just explore the world of transportation before you sign up for a CDL program. Joining an organization for female truckers can help you receive the support you need, foster positive change in the industry, and thrive in your career.
- Women in Trucking (WIT): This nonprofit is dedicated to empowering women to train and work in the trucking industry. WIT provides resources and connections to open doors for female drivers.
- Women in Motion: Part of the American Trucking Associations, this advocacy group supports programs and policies to bridge gender pay and opportunity gaps in trucking.
- U.S. Department of Transportation’s Women of Trucking Advisory Board: Designed to support women in the trucking industry, the advisory board comprises a diverse group of experienced people who want to help women in the industry.
- International Brotherhood of Teamsters: A union organization for men and women, Teamsters support and bolster each other by improving conditions and advocating for drivers. Joining a local chapter can provide you with support and community.
Embracing Students from Any Background
Southwest Truck Driver Training employs a robust team of female instructors, training managers, and office staff members to help you obtain your education in trucking. With lifetime career placement support and an individual-focused curriculum, this family-owned training school provides the resources, tools, and training women need to obtain their CDL.
Whether you’re looking to pursue a solo life on the road or prefer to travel with a partner or spouse, you’ll find the trucking industry provides unique and rewarding opportunities for women of all backgrounds. Contact Southwest Truck Driver Training to learn how you can begin your journey toward a CDL and career in trucking.