On Feb. 27, U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Jerry Moran (R-Kans.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) reintroduced the Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act to support women in the trucking industry. The senators are members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
The Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act would direct the administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to establish a Women of Trucking Advisory Board. Under this bill, the board would identify barriers to entry for women in the trucking industry, work across organizations and companies to coordinate formal education and training programs and help identify and establish training and mentorship programs for women in the industry. The legislation also requires the FMCSA administrator to submit a report to Congress on the board’s findings and recommendations.
Currently, women make up 47% of the United States’ labor force, yet represent 24% of America’s trucking workforce and only about 7% of drivers, according to a legislation announcement from Baldwin’s office.
“As the trucking industry continues to face a driver shortage, we must find new ways to recruit and retain drivers, including supporting women pursuing careers in trucking. This sensible and bipartisan legislation will lead to new job opportunities for women and promote equality for those who are currently working in the trucking industry,” Moran said in the announcement.
This legislation has received wide-spread support from shipping and trucking organizations, including the American Trucking Associations, Women in Trucking Association and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.
“While the trucking industry has taken great strides over the last decade, growing the number of women truck drivers by 68% since 2010, the fact is that women remain underrepresented in the industry,” said American Trucking Associations Senior Vice President Edwin Gilroy. “We agree that more work needs to be done. The Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act represents a tangible step toward a stronger and more diverse trucking workforce.”
Women in Trucking Association's President and Chief Executive Officer Ellie Voie agreed.
“By creating an advisory board to utilize the expertise and resources of the Federal Motor Carrier Administration and the members of the board, we can increase the opportunities for women as drivers, technicians, owners, trainers and in other relevant career roles,” Voie said.
U.S. Representatives Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.) and Sharice Davids (D-Kans.) introduced the bipartisan companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
More information about the legislation is available here.