A proposed Senate bill would direct the administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to establish a “Women of Trucking Advisory Board” that would identify barriers to entry for women in the trucking industry.
In addition, the new advisory board would 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 would also require the FMCSA Administrator to submit a report to Congress on the board’s findings and recommendations.
Introduced in bipartisan fashion by Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), the Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act has already garnered the support of the industry’s biggest lobby, the American Trucking Associations, and of the Women In Trucking Association.
According to Sen. Moran, the legislation is needed because women are substantially underrepresented, and the industry is facing a driver shortage. Therefore, “Congress should explore every opportunity to encourage and support the pursuit of careers in trucking by women,” he said. “I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan and sensible bill with Sen. Baldwin that will lead to new job opportunities for women and increase equality for women already in the trucking industry.”
Sen. Baldwin pointed out that “women currently make up less than 10% of the truck driving workforce and removing the barriers that get in the way of women pursuing and retaining careers in trucking is key.”
“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,” said Women In Trucking Association President and CEO Ellen Voie.
American Trucking Association President and CEO Chris Spear also applauded the rollout of the bill. “Your thoughtful and timely legislation brings important attention and focus to the advancement of female representation and participation in trucking,” he said in a letter to the two sponsoring senators.
Spear stated that establishment of a Women of Trucking Advisory Board under the auspices of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration would “bring greater attention to the recruitment, training, mentorship, and outreach to women in the trucking industry.
“This in turn will lead to increased female representation in trucking and greater industry diversity, while providing another tool to help the trucking industry confront and stem its growing driver shortage,” he continued.
Spear noted that, “As priorities of both Presidents Obama and Trump, empowering women to seek rewarding careers enjoys broad bipartisan support, and this bill would help promote job opportunities for women in the trucking industry.”
According to Women In Trucking, based on research by the National Transportation Institute, as of April 2018, women comprise nearly 8% of female over-the-road drivers and over 23% of fleet management.