It’s no secret that truck driving is a lifestyle as well as a career. The hours on the road and the extensive travel often mean that those who drive trucks professionally live an entirely unique lifestyle. However, as more women enter the trucking industry, how does the trucking lifestyle look for them? Is it different? Is it the same, despite the lower percentage of women who are active in the industry?While it’s true that more men than women tend to land in truck driving careers—estimates from late 2017 say that women make up around 6-7% of the truck driver population, although those numbers are gradually growing—that doesn’t mean that women are less qualified, less supported, or paid less.
One of the great things about the trucking industry is that everyone is paid equally: the more miles you cover, the more you get paid. This means regardless of gender, every trucker has the same opportunity for profit.
Behind the Wheel
An article on Business Insider outlines how women are not only statistically better drivers than men, but they also get in fewer accidents, tend to cover more miles, and have a lower turnover rate then men do in the trucking industry. On top of that, the trucking industry as a whole has taken strides to better equip their vehicles and designated truck stops to meet the needs of their female drivers.
Some of these changes are outlined by CDL Career Now, where it’s explained how “truck stops are amping up parking lot lighting to make the area safer for women...[and] truck manufacturers are designing the trucks to be more adaptable for women drivers—easier access, closer pedals, and better-positioned seat belts.”
Ultimately, the trucking industry wants to work with more women, and it is striving to make the necessary changes to not only appeal to this demographic of driven and committed drivers but also to create an environment where they can genuinely and actively thrive.
Beyond the Wheel
While the industry has made many strides in its support and employment of female drivers, it is still sometimes plagued by a “boy’s club” mentality that can be a cause of concern. However, this is where associations like Women in Trucking (WIT) and REAL Women in Trucking, Inc. can help.
According to WIT’s website, their mission is “to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry.” Meanwhile, REAL Women in Trucking, Inc. has a similar goal, as they were formed “in 2010 as a protest group by women truck drivers seeking improved conditions that were not being effectively addressed by the industry or any other organizations.”
The truck driving lifestyle for women is not without its challenges, but ultimately, the industry is taking great strides towards fully accepting and providing for its growing number of female drivers. For example, in an article published by Medill Reports Chicago, Carol Nixon, 47, of St. James, Mo.—who has been on the road since 1990—says she “cherishes the financial independence she has had since age 20, when she became a driver.”
Just like every career, trucking will have its ups and downs. But as women continue to be recognized as valuable assets in the transportation industry, things are only going to get better and brighter for women who want to get behind the wheel and see the open roads of America in a way few get the chance to.
Lily Transportation is Here to Help
If you’re one of the many people interested in pursuing a trucking career, then Lily Transportation is here to help! We are always searching for passionate and driven female truckers to join our family of solo and OTR drivers, and we’re thrilled to offer all of our employees' competitive pay, a wealth of benefits, paid vacation and holiday time, and more!
For more information about how Lily Transportation can help you, please contact us at 800-248-5459 or visit our Careers Page to apply directly online. We can’t wait to hear from you!