Safety paramount to recruiting women drivers

As the trucking industry seeks to relieve the driver shortage, some companies are turning their heads toward an untapped market of talent: female truck drivers. It’s already been proved by experts that women are invaluable to trucking fleets, so recruiting them by prioritizing a clean, safe environment at work should be paramount for the industry, as reported by Transport Topics.

Danielle Bansch, Transforce Group’s national account manager, shared her perspective on what female truck drivers want from the industry when she spoke on Nov. 14 at the Accelerate! Conference and Expo. Women assess not only a work culture’s dedication to safety in avoiding accidents, but also personal safety when traveling alone on the road.

“Women look at safety differently,” Bansch said.

Women in Trucking teamed up with Transforce Group to release a survey, titled Unlocking Driver Recruiting Success: Understanding How They Seek New Career Opportunities, to female truck drivers. From the survey it was clear that women “want to know what they’re getting into” before they even begin the application process.

The top concerns for women who are considering applying for a position behind the wheel are: pay, schedule flexibility (including if they can be home at night/the weekend), company reputation, route types, and health benefits, Bansch said. If trucking companies want to improve their fleets by hiring on female drivers, they need to promote a culture of safety, she said.

“They want clean trucks and nice facilities. If you have that, advertise it. If not, fix it,” Bansch said.

Women also want to feel as though they are entering into a company that values women and has space for them on their team. If they don’t see themselves as a welcome and valued member of that fleet, they are unlikely to apply.

“Hire women in groups so they don’t feel alone,” Bansch said. “If you can’t, introduce female drivers to other women at your company working in other areas.”

And fleets should keep in mind that female drivers expect to be treated the same way their male coworkers are. Creating an environment where feedback and communication between drivers and fleet leadership is vital in retaining female drivers.

Focusing on the small steps a company can take to make women feel more welcome to apply and join their team is a great step toward increasing the gender diversity of the historically male dominated career field.