Diversity in Trucking? Yes, it is a Must!

Did you know, according to Trucking HR Canada, that females are only about 4% of truck drivers in Canada?  Working females in the country make up approximately 48% of the population, so something is missing.  Why are the females not in the trucking industry?

I worked over 23 years in the trucking industry (and back in it again with Netwomen) and I always noticed that it was a very male-dominated industry.  It was never a secret, but it also felt that it was not something anyone was concerned about.  This was not about my company per se, but whenever I attended North America conferences for trucking companies, it was mostly men.  I used to joke about how easy it was to remember the women’s names and to recognize them each year at various events, but so much harder to remember the male population.  It’s because there are so many of them.  Us females are way outnumbered.  At the first event I went to, there were around 125 of us in the room.  There were 6 women…that’s all.

Don’t get me wrong, these men are intelligent, and many have been in the industry longer than myself.  However, I noticed throughout my years and in talking with fellow companies and women that worked in them, that whenever a new leader was hired (management, senior management, VP’s, boards) it was sometimes exclusively men or almost always men, who ended up at the table.  Why?  There are various reasons this could be the case, but one stands out.  Diversity is missed in this industry and it starts with recruiting. 

Recruiting for women in the industry is not always easy, I know as I managed HR among my other roles for 12 years at my company.  Women don’t always apply.  It normally has nothing to do with our capabilities, but more about the stigma, as well as the women see the unconscious bias that happens in the industry.   Why would they apply if they don’t see grow and you don’t have a strong diversity program or team?  They may be your star.  It is easy to stay the status quo, but unfortunately the stats show that the industry needs more diversity, other than men, in leadership roles to retain employees thus reducing recruiting cost and your time.  What can you do about it?  Start by implementing, maintaining and promoting a solid diversity program.  Need help?  Netwomen and I can assist with our DEI for leadership, HR DEI programs and consultative approaches. 

Why more diversity?  The answer is easy to state, but not always easy to implement.  Diversity brings more diverse ideas, better brainstorming for solutions, innovations, efficiencies (can you see the profit going up a bit?), to even finding better ways to be safe for all workers including the safety of women on the road too.  Female drivers don’t want to necessarily use the male bathroom because the truck stop doesn’t have a suitable female one (or a female one at all).  This is where diversity helps the leadership team see from different lenses.  You will become more successful in finding solutions to any problems in the company.  You will become more profitable from learning how to get into more or different markets (think about those companies who only use vendors who have a strong Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program or have a metric that requires a certain percentage of vendors to have a DEI program). 

Netwomen believes that all industries need strong DEI programs.  Me, from the trucking and transportation industry, it is a must to stay strong, move forward, be an industry leader, retain those employees, and be the best most profitable company you can be.

If you are ready to be a diverse, more profitable, and inclusive company, reach out to me today to find out how we can help.  tara@netwomen.us or book a free consult at https://squareup.com/appointments/book/exes44uw8b3fgx/2ATNYSCV452RM/locations


Written by: Tara Lehman

February 2023

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