Why The Trucking Industry Needs More Female Truck Drivers
A growing number of women are entering the world of trucking at a time when demand for drivers is at a critical high, but we’re still far from where we need to be. Beyond the consumer goods we want, essential goods in this country are delivered by truck. Truck driver shortages means empty shelves at the grocery store, pharmacy, and in hospitals.
Long before the pandemic, carriers were sounding the alarm; in 2018, there were more than 20,000 vacant truck driver positions in Canada alone and another 20,000 precariously filled by truckers over 65 who could retire at any time. To keep supply chains open, the trucking industry desperately needs more female truck drivers.
Why More Women Are Choosing Trucking
The freedom, the flexibility, the income: there are a lot of benefits to being a truck driver. In lieu of a drab cubicle and endless meetings (many of which should have been an email), truck drivers see more of this country in a year than most Canadians will see in their lifetimes.
Trucking is also one of the few industries where the gender pay gap is non-existent. A carrier sets the pay based on mileage, hours or percentage of the load, so how much you earn will depend on the hours you work, what kind of freight you carry, and whether it’s a long haul or short haul delivery.
It’s not unusual for truck drivers to make $60,000 in their first year, and truck driver salaries can quickly surpass six figures. It requires training and hands-on experience to do well, but, as a growing number of influential female truck drivers are saying, trucking is for everyone. You can make a great living as a female trucker if you’re willing to work hard.
To become a truck driver in Ontario, you need a commercial truck driver’s license (also called an AZ licence). Before you can get an AZ licence, you need to complete Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) from an approved truck driving school.
Going In The Right Direction
The trucking industry has traditionally been male-dominated (though that could be said of every industry until recent history), but there are many promising signs that this is changing.
Safety, for example, is increasingly top of mind for carriers. In addition to driver training, technologies such as mobile apps with built-in GPS location technology are being used to ensure that drivers who have a breakdown on the road can locate a repair shop, arrange for a tow, and get to a safe environment as quickly as possible.
Long hours on the road and time away from family has also discouraged many women from entering the industry; however, as traditional gender roles continue to change, more and more women are embracing the freedom and adventure of the open road.
If getting home in time for dinner is non-negotiable for you, you can also choose short haul over long haul trucking, which allows you to stay closer to home. The right carrier will also work with you to schedule shifts around your responsibilities.
The Future Of Trucking In Canada
More women in trucking means more solutions for trucking challenges. Besides simply helping to alleviate the industry’s intensifying driver shortage, female truck drivers are also less likely to be involved in a crash than their male counterparts.
Women could also be the key to solving many of the problems weighing the industry down, such as driver health and retention. Some of our favourite YouTube stars are women truck drivers who show the unfiltered reality of life on the road and give tips on how to eat healthy and stay fit on the job— particularly during long haul or over-the-road (OTR) trips.
How To Become A Truck Driver In Ontario
The first step to becoming a truck driver in Ontario is to complete Mandatory Entry Level Training. You may qualify for Second Career Funding or the Canada Ontario Job Grant for various aspects of your training. Learn more about funding options here.
KnowledgeSurge is an MTO (Ministry of Transportation) approved truck driving school and one of the most respected providers of Commercial Trucking AZ Programs in the country. After graduation, KnowledgeSurge career advisors can help you find trucking opportunities that work for you.
Contact KnowledgeSurge today and get started on the road to success!