Truck drivers play essential roles in delivering goods to communities around the country. Despite its importance, transport and logistics is not an industry that typically attracts women.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (2016) data shows that, nationally, women make up just 21.5 per cent of the full-time transport and logistics workforce. Most of these women are in executive or office roles.
Australia’s road transport industry is changing. Gone are the days of clunky crash boxes, manually winding landing legs and strapping loads – most of these tasks can now be either automated or mechanically assisted as technology continues to evolve rapidly. With features like automated transmissions and dynamic steering becoming increasingly prevalent, modern heavy-duty vehicles are thus removing many of the physical entry barriers that have traditionally defined – and restricted – commercial road transport, opening it up for a new group of young and ambitious female professionals that have historically been left out. And, it hasn’t come a moment too soon, with the commercial road transport industry in Australia facing an impending driver shortage as an ageing workforce is forced to handle a quickly expanding freight task.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there’s a severe shortage of new truckies in Australia. And, simply put, without trucks, Australia stops. Currently 97% of truckies are male, and only 1 in 5 are under 30, creating a strained workforce that hasn’t seen change to its demographic in a decade.
A career in truck driving provides great opportunities for women wanting something different. This desire for a life less ordinary is something echoed by many woman behind the wheel.
Research shows women are easier on the trucks than men and that means better fuel consumption and less repair and maintenance.
“What carriers are telling me is that they want more female drivers for the safety issue, and women are often better with the customers, paperwork, better with the equipment and often easier to train.’’ Ellen Voie, President and CEO of Women in Trucking.
It has been stated that another way to change the gender imbalance is to have truck driving classified as a profession. At present drivers need to undergo many courses to gain qualifications so I think it should be classified as one, it should then be promoted as a profession to kids in school so they can see it’s an option.
We need to encourage women to join the industry, there are many varied roles that involve driving a truck. It’s very flexible; you just need to find the job that suits you.
In line with this Coastal Transport Services openly welcomes and promotes the employment of women within the industry, within all capacities and job functions. If you have ever felt interest for the industry, are looking for a new experience or are looking to expand your horizons please send an application to HR@coastaltransport.com.au