Working in a male dominant industry is a challenge in itself especially when it comes to dealing with irritating man’s perception of overt sexual harassment. The men don’t have to learn or think of ideas on how to overcome such abuse, while we have played the victim all the time. While we always hope nobody has to deal with it, the issues are magnified for women who are chosen to be different and opt for male-dominant industries.
With the introduction of “bro-culture” to assumptions about how women are underestimated about their job roles, their driving skills and their mental health go to work every day, with the mental pressure to prove their self-worth and abilities- a weight the male colleagues do not have to bear.
What can be the problem? Shine a light on it. We encouraged women to speak up about the circumstances, and demand equal treatment and also equal pay for the hard work sowed in every work they do. Gender discrimination should never be encouraged.
Truck driving is one such profession that is dominated by men. But there are women out there, who love driving and traveling along with the 18-wheeler. There is no age bar to become a truck driver. All you need is the passion for your work and a valid license. Not everyone around you would appreciate your presence behind the wheel but if that makes you happy, it is surely the best profession to fit in.
Key points about Women In Trucking:
- Women in Trucking is an association operated by Ellen Vioe. She is the founder of the association, established with the agenda to promote women employment in the trucking industry.
- According to Women In Trucking, there is a hike of 14% in professional drivers in 2022, from just 7.9% in 2018.
- The aftermath of the pandemic welcomed many women truckers to the league.
- Women are paid the same as the other gender, and they are not just opted for driving roles, they are also assigned dispatcher and safety roles both top 40%.
- Such associations guide women throughout, help them with work and processes, increase the rate of women drivers, technicians, and executives, and welcome young unemployed women, and those who wish to switch careers.
Issues Faced By Women In This Industry:
Despite being one of the male dominant growing industries, women are not always welcomed. We have always seen a hulky bearded man, with a ball cap on his head, with a baggy flannel shirt over his faded blue jeans, seated behind the wheels. The gender gap is such that it is hard to picture a female truck driver. The reasons are many, but the top reason is-
Nancy, a 21-year-old truck driver shared her story in an interview. “There is a whole group of truck drivers that are not open to young people entering the profession or foreigners or even women. It’s just a stereotype but I’m trying my best to change the view. We are no less than those bulky men, and we can do much of everything like them”.
Nancy shared how she was asked to sit in the break room, and grease breaks because women deserve to be in there. However, with lots of fighting and grinding, she stopped proving her worth because she knew she is much more worthy and equal to the male drivers.
Barriers That We Carry Along::
Traditional barriers are some of those hurdles that women face in their daily routines. One of them is restrooms. The truck bay washrooms are designed in a way that is more specified for men’s usage. It’s not their mistake either. They were not prepared to have more women behind the wheel.
Vandy talks about her barriers. She has an average height and her initial journey was difficult as she was not able to reach the pedals for initials. And this would be one of the reasons for women not reaching out for this profession.
Every industry has its own set of pros and cons. Things change with time, but some of the traditional barriers remain consistent. Women drivers prefer learning from women trainers because they are more understanding and easy to reach, whereas men are still looking for ways to demoralize women for taking up this profession.
Women trainers are more empathetic towards their students, and once their driving is polished, they teach them about their vehicle, safe and unsafe routes, GPS tracking, and a lot more about the truck bay. The training also includes mental preparation for facing people on the road who might be judgmental about your driving skills or the load you are carrying.
Get Paid For The Work You Do:
However, there is always a cross-sword happening in every profession, but one good thing about this profession is the pay. Your gender or age doesn’t matter. All that matter is your license and driving skills. The gender disparity doesn’t exist in the trucking business. You are paid for the work you do, the miles you cover, the load you take, and the hours you work.
Here Are Some Safety Tips For Women Truckers:
- Keep your doors closed all times.
- Do not entertain strangers around your truck. Maintaining a good distance with your fellow truck drivers can save you from lots of mental trauma and harassment.
- Parking at highway ramps, road shoulders, and other isolated places should be avoided.
- Truck bays and rest areas with sufficient lighting are the safest options.
- Install the I’m Safe App.
- Keep the app open at all times. Just one click, and you can be saved.
- Check on reviews about the truck stop before stopping.
- Always carry pepper spray while walking to and from the stores.
- Remain alert at all times.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Beware of any suspicious activities.
- Take self-defense seriously.
- Reach out to officials through the I’m Safe app.
Women in any profession are never safe. People around pull them down with words or actions. It is always better to be prepared for the worst. And in such situations, I’m Safe App, is a safety app for women designed to keep the lady figure out of danger at all times.
Though women are stronger by themselves, it is important to stay alert and use the app in their time of need. This app has access to emergency numbers at your fingertips. Features like SOS, track me, and fake call acts like your virtual assistant, keeping you safe from emotional hurdles to cross.
We, the team of I’m Safe App take this opportunity to salute and honor women truckers for their hard work and dedication. It’s never easy to be behind the wheel all day, and away from family yet, you help the country roll out the way it has to be. So big thank you to every women truck driver who is so beautifully managing their world, while being behind the wheel.