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New research shares strategies to foster women truck drivers' success

June 21, 2024
The research lays out an action plan for the industry designed to make trucking careers more attractive to women.

The American Transportation Research Institute recently released new research identifying approaches to increase the number of women truck drivers entering and staying in the industry. After quantifying six key challenge areas facing women truck drivers, the research lays out an action plan for the industry—with steps for motor carriers, truck driver training schools, and truck drivers—designed to make trucking careers more attractive to women.

This research was identified by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee in March 2023 as a top priority to help further understand the challenges women drivers encounter. The research then promulgates specific strategies the industry can implement to increase the number of women in trucking. 

The challenges identified in ATRI’s research were industry image and perception, training school completion, truck parking shortages and restroom access, and gender harassment and discrimination.

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 factors that generate challenges, as well as strategies for navigating and overcoming these barriers to success for women drivers.

See also: FMCSA plans new study on sexual assault and harassment. But is that enough?

“ATRI’s research gives a voice to the thousands of women truck drivers who have found successful and satisfying careers in this industry and encouragement to other women to consider truck driving jobs,” said Emily Plummer, professional driver for Prime Inc. and one of the America’s Road Team Captains

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

The analysis found that carriers implementing women-specific recruiting and retention initiatives have a higher percentage of women drivers (8.1%) than those without (5.0%). The report details how fleets can implement such initiatives.

“This report provides an important road map for the industry to increase the number of women drivers,” said Joyce Brenny, Brenny Transportation president and CEO. “We have found tremendous success and improved safety with our women drivers and believe others who utilize this research will also experience success.”

About the Author

FleetOwner Staff

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Kevin Jones, Editorial Director, Commercial Vehicle Group

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