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New women-only board at FMCSA aims to tackle barriers

A mid adult African-American woman in her 30s, a female truck driver standing in front of a fleet of semi-trucks or tractor-trailers parked in a row. Her arms are crossed and she is looking at the camera, smiling confidently.

As women are significantly underrepresented in the trucking industry, holding only 24 percent of all transportation jobs, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is hoping to address that.  The FMCSA recently announced it is searching for women to make up its newly created Women of Trucking Advisory Board (WOTAB).

 

Kicked off during March’s Women’s History Month, the FMCSA statement said the board’s goal is “to recruit, support and ensure the safety of women commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and the trucking industry at large.”

 

According to an article published in The Trucker, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has led round-table discussions and has also ridden along with a truck driver. “We’re proud to launch the Women of Trucking Advisory Board to work together with drivers and trucking companies to help eliminate barriers that keep women from entering and staying in the trucking profession,” Buttigieg said.

 

FMCSA Acting Administrator Robin Hutcheson said that the WOTAB’s creation “furthers our commitment to collaboration, equity and safety across the trucking industry by evaluating existing and potential opportunities for women throughout the trucking industry.”

 

The board will provide recommendations to the FMCSA and the transportation secretary, as well as tackle many areas, including:

 

  • Evaluating barriers and trends that impact women in trucking across the country and ways to support women pursuing careers in trucking
  • Identifying opportunities to expand roles for women and increase the number of women in the trucking industry
  • Advising on policies that provide education, training, mentorship, or outreach to women in the trucking industry
  • Reviewing opportunities to enhance safety, training, mentorship, and education for women in the trucking industry

 

The Trucker reported that WOTAB will include women representing various sectors of the trucking industry including trucking companies, nonprofit organizations, business associations, independent owner-operators and professional truck drivers, as well as many others.

 

WOTAB’s charter runs through Feb. 11, 2024. Anyone interested in applying should visit www.fmcsa.dot.gov/wotab.