“There is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise.” -Bosa Sebele. If you’ve ever been on the highway and seen trucks rolling by, then you may have wondered how many of those truckers are female? Women are underrepresented in the trucking industry around the world. And though this daunting statistic has been a reality for years, nations around the world have recently started to implement initiatives intended to improve female representation in the trucking industry; some of these different initiatives taken by governments from countries like the United States of America, Canada and Australia are trying to incorporate diversity into the trucking industry.
Empowering Women Behind the Wheel: Initiatives to Boost Participation of Female Truckers
In the U.S the Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act was incorporated into the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of November 2021, establishing a “Women of Trucking Advisory” whose mission is to bring more women on board. Meanwhile, in Canada, there’s the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada (WTFC) which provides resources and education specifically tailored towards underrepresented groups hoping to enter careers in trucking – all backed by both federal and provincial funding. And best believe that these efforts haven’t been going unnoticed. Ctvnews.ca states that data from 2021 showed that 16.5% of women employed were working in the U.S. truck driving industry compared to 15% in 2016; this is quite a jump indeed. This number is comparable to what can be found up north in Canada, where in 2021 there were over 15% of women behind the steering wheel when it came to driving trucks. Last but not least Australia introduced their National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s Women In Transport initiative for much the same reason – tackling gender imbalance head-on while creating diversity within the field.
Safe and Sound: FMCSA Safety Regulations for Truck Drivers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rules and regulations in place for the safety of truck drivers driving in the U.S. For starters, they’ve imposed Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations to limit how long a driver can be behind the wheel. Say you are hauling property across town – after being 10 hours off duty, only 11 hours of consecutive driving is allowed max. This isn’t up for debate either – Part 392 outlines exactly what driving a CMV entails. It’s worth noting that this applies to both male and female. There are seat belt requirements too, because no one wants accidents on their conscience. Parts 393 and 396 outline parts and accessories needed for safe operation such as brakes, lighting fixtures and tire inflation limits. These are pre-trip inspections and a periodic maintenance record is always held for these inspections which should prove pivotal at crunch time if you get into an accident. Make sure you keep this documentation airtight in case anything happens while on shift; just remember when things get hairy – there’s always an experienced semi truck accident lawyer who can help negotiate with insurers or represent you in court if necessary.
The situation for women in the trucking industry has been an uphill struggle but thankfully much change is afoot thanks to tailored initiatives. Hopefully, in time people will witness greater acceptance of diversity amongst genders within the worldwide driving community.