How to hire and retain women truckers?
Let's cut to the chase: As an industry, we should be looking at hiring and retaining more women. Currently, the shortage is so acute that the American Trucking Association (ATA) is predicting that we would need to hire upwards of 100,000 truck drivers just to fill the gap left by retirees in the coming years.
One possible answer to that is in hiring women, who now comprise only 6% of the entire trucker workforce. Interestingly, women are known to make better truck drivers, according to US Secretary of State Elaine Chao. They avoid risks that might land them into accidents. They do their home-work on what they're getting into, and so, they tend to not quit as impulsively as men.
So, why haven't trucking companies been able to hire and retain women truckers? Because the systems, processes and policies has for long been designed to work well for men, not women.
If you want more women as part of your workforce, it is important to understand the workplace from their point of view.
It is important to empathise. (Empathy is the seven-letter word you're looking for.) Being fully aware of the problems they faced is a first step towards creating a working environment that appeal to women.
The history of their struggles and challenges is encapsulated in the infographic below. The banner depicts a happy woman trucker. Don't be misled. She's smiling only because she's conquered her innumerable obstacles, not because she's had an easy ride. The obstacles, which exist even today, are highlighted below.
Read, re-read and absorb this information. Empathise. The deeper you go into it, the faster you can come up with a solution to hire them.
Is there hack? Is there a quick 5-step process that will guarantee definite outcomes?
Well, truth be told, there is no "trick" to hiring and retaining women.
The solution lies in setting up processes and introducing policies that addresses the above problems. It might seem like a lot of work, but if you seek help and do it right, the pay-offs will be handsome.
The policies and challenges are very specific to companies. Depending on whether your operations are long-haul or short-haul, size of your fleet, the type of companies you service, the problems to solve will differ.
At Noticeboard, we help companies set up these very processes, create staff awareness, educate on new policies, and most importantly, build thriving communities at workplace. In addition to providing a management tool for owner-operators, Noticeboard helps build a productive work culture for all employees, irrespective of gender, location or designation.