As Elaine Chao, The U.S. Secretary of Transportation recently noted, women have always played a key role in the transportation industry. Chao has highlighted that since 2015, the industry has seen an increase in government contracts awarded to women-owned businesses. And, through the work of organizations like The Women in Trucking Association (WIT), the industry continues to push toward a more diverse workforce.
Ellen Voie, President and CEO of WIT recently spoke about the gender gap in the transportation industry at Omnitracs Outlook 2019. Voie reported that the most successful businesses in the industry are those that have women in executive roles. In fact, firms with the strongest records for the promotion of women see 34 percent higher overall profits when compared to industry medians. In her talk, Voie stated that these leaders are successful because they bring with them a strong work ethic and are always mindful of their teams.
According to the WIT 2018 Index:
- 10% of leaders in the trucking industry are women
- 8% of long-haul drivers are women
- 6 of 15 publicly traded carriers have women leaders
From the boardroom to the cab – looking beyond leadership
It’s no secret that the trucking industry is experiencing a shortage of drivers. WIT is working to increase the percentage of women drivers in the industry by addressing safety concerns specific to women and partnering with truck manufacturers to improve truck cab design and ergonomics. The association is also encouraging girls at earlier ages to consider careers in the industry by working with the Girl Scouts of America, and Girl Guides of Canada. So far, 1,250 girls have earned a Women in Trucking patch.
Driving inclusion – tips for successfully bridging the gender gap
- Set diversity goals
According to Omnitracs’ Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO), Stacey Martin, “Most people in today’s workforce no longer work for just a paycheck. They think about what they’re contributing to society, to the workplace, to the customer.” Set diversity targets early to ensure a diverse, productive, and loyal team.
- Be strategic in hiring practices
To ensure a gender-diverse workplace, bolster recruitment efforts by adjusting the language of job postings so they resonate with women, and place ads for job postings where women search for jobs – such as university career boards.
- Be aware of implicit bias
Men are often promoted based on potential, while women are promoted based on accomplishments. This certainly isn’t true for every company, but it’s something for all organizations to consider as we think about ways to recruit more female talent.
Women are assets to the transportation industry and continue to contribute to its overall success. Omnitracs is proud to work with WIT to provide education and resources that promote inclusivity. Learn more about overcoming challenges in hiring through additional insights from our CHRO here.