In Canada, female truck drivers account for about 3% of the nation's over-the-road transportation force. As of 2018, there were approximately 312,000 truck drivers and by extrapolating these numbers, the number of women in Canadian trucking is a total of 9360.
Conversely, the United States has approximately 3.5 million truck drivers with women representing around 5.8% of the workforce or 203,000 individuals. (All figures are approximate)
Women In Trucking (WIT)
Women in Trucking is a non-profit organization who promotes truck driving (and other transportation functions) for women. More than a decade into its existence, WIT has introduced a mentoring program that pairs women drivers who are relatively new to trucking with more experienced women in the industry.
LeadHERalliance Mentoring is WIT’s new program relying on professional drivers who have experienced, successful careers with those who are wanting to enter the trucking industry.
Debbie Sparks, Vice President of WIT, states that “With approximately 6000 members predominately throughout the United States and Canada, this mentoring program will provide women drivers access to the knowledge, experience, and support of seasoned drivers.”
The program is set up for a 10-month mentorship with virtual meetings monthly between the mentee and the mentee/mentor. The focus will be centered on leadership, resilience, mental well-being, health, and financial stability. Special focus will include the challenges of a woman sharing the road and dealing with a predominantly male workforce in the industry.
According to Cynthia O’Neill, founder of LeadHERalliance, “Providing a female mentor to be a role model and a support for new female drivers will boost their resilience, confidence, and courage to break into and succeed in a role that hasn’t always been welcoming to women. Women are making a significant positive difference in the trucking industry every day.”
Upon completion of the mentoring program, every woman is designated a lifetime member of the LeadHERnetwork gaining access to hundreds of experienced women worldwide, enabling them to reach out for support and guidance. Because of the growing membership, graduates can even focus their support with experienced truck drivers in their geographic area.
While there are many women holding positions in trucking companies in an administrative role, this program is definitely a big leap forward to expanding the number of women on the distribution highway.