The commercial transport industry has been seen for many years as a male dominated career choice, yet we are beginning to see a small increase in women behind the wheel and taking control of transport operations.
Currently in the UK, around 2% of truck, bus and coach drivers are female. As the commercial transport industry continues to grow and evolve, women are beginning to see the rising benefits of working in such a successful and professional environment.
Logistics firms are now actively seeking female drivers in order to balance out their workforces and in return, women are taking up these opportunities and looking to build and fulfil career aspirations by working their way up the driving ladder.
Expertise v Gender
For ladies that don’t necessary feel they want to take the hands-on approach, there are a growing number of managerial and skilled jobs elsewhere within the industry as hauliers and operators begin to expand their businesses and enter a new realm that concentrates on the expertise of the candidate within their workforce, rather than their gender.
Women now have a great deal of support when choosing to enter the world of professional driving and its associated practices. Search on Facebook and you will find a wealth of groups to join that will offer encouragement and first hand advice on what life on the road is really like for the minority.
There are also independent bodies that have been established in order to promote and showcase the benefits of female employees and prove that women can, indeed, ‘cut the mustard’.
One such group is everywoman which works towards the promotion of women in business. Working with a number of high profile and national companies, everywoman actively encourages females to go out and make a difference within thousands of UK organisations.
In particular, the group has targeted the commercial transport industry over the past few years, citing it as an area that does require attention in order to change the mindset of it being a ‘man’s world’.
Just last year, everywoman held their 2nd Transport and Logistics Leadership Academy event where 80% of attendees voted that significant changes need to implemented in order to promote a larger female workforce. However, they did agree that the women working within the industry stood an excellent chance of meeting their career aspirations.
One suggestion is that female role models should be actively promoted in order to encourage more women to think about entering transport and logistics.
As a direct response to this, everywoman holds an annual Transport and Logistics Awards ceremony in London. Backed by the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and a number of other key industry sponsors, the awards are a great way of both encouraging and promoting female champions.
Each year, following nominations, awards are handed out for ‘rising star of the year’, ‘driver of the year’ and ‘team leader of the year’.
The ceremony has now been running for over 6 years and plays a significant part in supporting both individuals and companies to address the workforce imbalance.
Nominations open for the awards every December, followed by the ceremony in May.
Make sure you keep checking our blog to find out when nominations are being accepted and who the winners are!