This U.S. industry is courting women drivers who love the open road.
The U.S. trucking industry is pulling out all the stops as a significant driver shortage rolls on in 2023, with the sector pushing for 18-to-20-year-olds be allowed to drive big rigs on the nation’s interstates and hiring drivers from Asia and Europe with hefty pay packages.
Overall, the trucking industry faces a driver shortage of about 65,000 to 70,00 drivers, as current drivers begin to age out and as companies boost delivery supplies as the economy improves, according to Bob Costello, the chief economist at the American Trucking Association. Those figures could rise to 160,000 by 2030, the ATA reported.
A Trucking Shortage Would Be Costly
Even more worrisome, the U.S. trucking sector would need to recruit over one million drivers over the next decade to accommodate growing driver demand, the ATA estimated.
One demographic ready to pitch in is U.S. women, whose driver numbers are shifting into a higher gear. According to the non-profit trade association Women in Trucking, women comprised 14% of all U.S. professional truckers last year, up from 7.9% in 2018.
Additionally, the report found that women make up 33.8% of C-suite executives in transportation companies, 40.5% of safety professionals, and 74.9% of human resources and talent management roles, according to the 2022 WIT Index.
More Women Get Trucking
Millennial women are by far the largest percentage of women truckers, at 53% of all female drivers, JW Surety Bonds reported in a recent study. Gen Z women make up 27% of all women truckers while 16% come from Gen X.
Most women get into trucking for the freedom (57%) and for the benefits (53%), the JW survey noted. Most women truckers (56%) make between $50,000 and $100,000 annually, the study added.
“The best part of being a trucker is that you’re able to become familiar with many cities and travel more than most people do in their lifetime,” one 58-year-old female trucker told study researchers.