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The Wheel of Gender Diversity in Trucking Industry

Nowadays when the question of gender diversity is much represented, we are wondering how the employment of women in the trucking industry is encouraged. Are the obstacles women face in the trucking industry minimized or they have just learned how to cope with them. To what extent have things changed for women in the trucking industry?

It is a fact that today there are much more women earning their living in the trucking industry than ever before. They are at the forefront, not just with words, but with actions as well. However, the path of change wasn’t easy at all. 

The starting phase of women in trucking industry dates back to World War II. Men were at war and the need for truck driving jobs was on the rise because transportation services were very important due to the hardship of living in the war. Thus, women had to fill the jobs that were originally perceived to be ‘too manly and trucking was not an exception. Even though the trucking industry has historically been very male-dominated, we mustn’t neglect the many accomplishments of women and refer to them as completely equal.

woman in trucking industry

Women That Shaped Trucking Industry

Luella Bates was the first female truck driver in US history. Originally she was hired as a stand-in for men who had gone to war. However, she continued driving after the war had finished and is considered one of the female pioneers in the trucking industry. 

Rusty Dow was the first woman to drive a fully loaded truck along the entire Alaska highway in 1944. She drove on primitive roads in rough conditions  with no accidents. Rusty brought people’s consciousness to a higher level by showing that women can also have great driving skills. 

Mazie Lanham takes all the credits for the expansion of female truck drivers during World War II. As the first UPS female driver who was hired due to the shortage of male drivers, she made a great influence and as a result, many more women were hired at that time.

Adriesue “Bitzy” Gomez was one of the first women who raised her voice against discrimination in the trucking industry. She broke barriers and made a large contribution to the 1970s Coalition of Women Truck Drivers.

Lucile Drennan was the first woman to earn her CDL and later on she opened her own trucking company.

In order to keep America running during the war, women had to face many obstacles and overcome many climbing rocks in the driver seat. Beside other accomplishments, the women above have paved the way for future generations of female truck drivers. 

Much has changed since then. Even though women make around ten percent of the driving force today, the percentage of female truck drivers is significantly increasing as women keep on showing their capabilities and values. Gender diversity in trucking is growing at a steady pace for various reasons. 

Many women find it enjoyable to be on the open road and experience the unexperienced. In spite of that, it is well known that women in trucking make up to 30 percent more than in any other industry. With flexible schedules, trucking is one of the most beneficial industries for both women and men. Moreover, trucking and logistics companies have recognized the importance of gender diversity within companies. The more gender diverse a company, the healthier the environment. In the last couple of years companies have been actively seeking to change the gender balance and influence their bottom line in a more positive way. 

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