The world is changing with greater diversity coming to all industries, including trucking. In March 2015, The Government of Canada committed $421,720 to develop mentorship programs that will help further the careers of women in the nation’s trucking industry, and identify best practices that can better support the hiring and retention of under-represented demographic groups. The funding was announced by Dr. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, during Trucking HR Canada’s Women with Drive Leadership Summit.
“The funding announced today will play a key role in an action plan we have developed to address many of the challenges faced by women in Canada’s trucking industry,” said Angela Splinter, CEO of Trucking HR Canada. “This, combined with the steps to reach out to other underrepresented demographic groups, will help industry employers recruit and retain the skilled workers they need.”
The Women with Drive National Project
Objectives of the Women with Drive National Project include:
- Raise awareness among women of the various career opportunities that exist in the trucking and freight transportation industry
- Raise awareness among employers of recruitment and retention practices that can better support the integration of women into the workforce
- Develop practical tools to support connecting women with careers in trucking and freight transportation
Women in the Trucking Industry Stats
North Shore Driving School applauds the move in expanding career opportunities that exist in the trucking and freight transportation industry. The Conference Board of Canada has projected a shortage of 25,000 to 33,000 for-hire truck drivers as early as 2020. Fleets and other industry employers have yet to effectively reach every demographic group of potential employees. Women account for just 3 percent of the nation’s truck drivers, mechanics, technicians and cargo workers. They are also underrepresented among industry managers (11%), parts technicians (13%), dispatchers (18%), and freight claims/safety and loss prevention specialists (25%).
Challenges for Women in Trucking
One of the first questions often asked is, “What are the challenges?” While there are numerous things that might limit the number of women who consider careers in trucking, the most crucial one is about image. In her speech opening the conference, Splinter said that it’s not about affirmative action or employment equity audits, it’s about “not overlooking” 50 percent of the potential workforce in Canada.
“It’s about having skin in the game,” says David Bradley, CEO of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), championing the partnership of Canadian Trucking Alliance and the Women with Drive project. “The numbers don’t lie. The struggle for equality continues in the trucking industry. We are still very much a male-dominated industry. We have a shortage of drivers, managers, senior executives. We have the oldest workforce in the country. Why wouldn’t we look to fill those jobs with women?”
North Shore Driving School – Proud to Train women in Trucking
North Shore Driving School is proud to operate a truck driving school serving a number of BC communities including Abbotsford, Surrey, Coquitlam, and Richmond. Contact us today for more information about our commercial truck driving programs at our Burnaby location.