The trucking and tank-driving industry has long battled a reputation as a male-dominant workforce with a small pool of diversity. Today, however, we are seeing signals that times are changing. This not only helps companies like us improve our services but also enriches our internal community and culture. Here is why we should all take pride in the trucking and tank-driving industry.
The number of women in the trucking industry is growing
Hundreds of thousands of women are working in the trucking industry, and this is only likely to increase. A promising signal is the female-oriented company, S.H.E Trucking, started by the U.S. female driver, Sharae Moore who entered the industry five years ago. At 28 years old, Moore swapped her career in nursing for tank-driving after seeing an opportunity for free commercial driving license training. In the years that followed, she realized the difficulty in connecting to other female drivers and created S.H.E Trucking. Her platform offers mentoring, support and development for the female driver community and is also a lifestyle and fashion brand.
The initiative, Women with Drive was set up by the Trucking HR Association in 2016 to improve the uptake of women in the industry. Their key objectives are to:
- raise awareness among women of the various career opportunities that exist in the trucking and freight transportation industry
- raise awareness among employers of recruitment and retention practices that can better support the integration of women into the industry
- develop practical tools to connect women with careers in trucking and freight transportation
Safety first and foremost
At Northwest, we regard safety as our top priority. An Omnitracs study suggests that female drivers are safer and drive more cautiously, getting into fewer preventable accidents. Their data found that for every 100 female drivers, 3.41 were in preventable accidents compared to 3.44 male drivers.
Dedicated to diversity
Diversity is important to us because it reflects our diverse nation. Positive reasons for a diversified workforce include a well-rounded understanding of society and greater innovation. With a wide range of people from different backgrounds comes a greater variety of ideas. Across all industries, a more diverse workforce is known to improve employee satisfaction and morale due to acceptance and the practice of inclusivity.
Dianna Vasher, a trans woman truck driver, is finding more safety and enjoyment in the cross-country truck driving world. In a 2018 article, she stated it was one of the few industries that provided the freedom to be openly transgender and bisexual while being paid well. Trucks and tanks provide both autonomy and anonymity (due to the use of radio communication between colleagues). Vasher says that, in a truck, “you can be who you are.”
Shelle Lichti, a 25-year veteran driver, founded LGBT Truckers. LGBT Truckers seeks to be a pioneer of diversity in the transportation industry and is dedicated to supporting and encouraging LGBT individuals.
We are always seeking hardworking, committed, community-minded individuals from all backgrounds. Our (truck) doors are open for you! If you are interested in joining Northwest Tank Lines for a new change, please get in touch or view our openings here.