What Was Earlier?
Until recent times, it was impossible to meet a woman working as a truck driver. This profession was intended only for men, because it meant heavy workloads, long hours behind the wheel and physical labor. It was also widely believed that women were not worthy to be drivers, that they lacked the knowledge and skills to drive a truck safely.
And what’s now?
However, over the past decade, this trend has begun to change dramatically. Now female truckers are equal to male truckers, and sometimes even surpass them. Female truckers has become a common thing. At that they really achieve success both in their work,and in personal development. Nowadays nothing can really prevent women from becoming professional truck drivers, and many companies. like HMD Trucking (https://www.hmdtrucking.com/) invite them to join the team.
According to a recent Trucking Trends Report in 2020 there were about 8% of women in the whole amount of truck drivers in America, which is about 3 million people. This number increases every year and in 2021 the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that there are 300,000 women truck drivers working now in the USA. This is only 10% of the total number of American truck drivers, and this means that the trucker industry is now open to the female workforce.
Gender Balance Issues
A lot of female truck drivers still struggle when working in a male environment. Blending into men’s companies is a bit harsh as women want to be accepted as an equal in this profession. Men are said to still have a negative preconception about female truck drivers, which differs from the reality.
Unsurprisingly, many women claim that they have experienced a humiliating attitude from men, derogatory remarks and haughty grins from male truck drivers. For that reason, many female truck drivers avoid driving cross-country and staying at the truck stops overnight, they prefer safely staying at home. Female truck drivers confirm that the disrespect from men is one of the biggest disadvantages in their work.
52 year old Alexandria has been driving trucks for more that 13 years (Personal Interview, 2012) and says that mutual respect is the goal for male and female truck drivers. The main idea of this is that respecting each other and helping everyone out will return to you as favor and respect. Alexandria stated that she doesn’t hide her femininity and expects only respect and support from the male colleagues.
Cowboy Women Like Adventures
A lot of female truck drivers point out that they enjoy adventures when hitting the road. There are many material positive sides of truck driving: pay, benefits and flexibility, which still outweigh the negatives. That is exactly why a lot of women have chosen this path. Many women are also attracted to this profession by freedom to work independently, they enjoy being on their own and having a possibility to make their own decisions. They prefer spending some time out of home and choose the path of a truck driver.
Jesseca Orosco in her story for ABC News complains about physical challenges a female truck driver might face, but still confirms that as a truck driver she tripled and sometimes even quadrupled her income in comparison to which she had when working in the office.
According to her, the most tough part of truck driving is the time spent behind the wheel (not at home), because anyway it takes up to 14 hours a day.
Jesseca is also disappointed by the fact that this profession is a male-dominated. The number of women who become truck drivers is increasing rapidly, but women are still in the minority in this field.
Working alongside other male truck drivers being a woman is not her biggest safety concern. Many male truck drivers are friendly and willing to help female truck drivers. Any situation may happen on the road, and support from other truck drivers can be of real help.
Why do Women Take this Job?
The purposes to work here are the same for male and female truck drivers, they all would like to support their families and make a decent living.
How to Prevent Harassment
Jesseca thinks how a female truck driver generally behaves towards men, and the safety precautions she takes under all circumstances, have a direct impact on how men react.
Jesseca strongly recommends female truck drivers not to wear flattering clothes. Of course, women always want to show their femininity and beautiful wearing, but that is probably not the best idea while driving the truck and sometimes causes negative attention on the men’s part.
Mostly all women truck drivers are willing to be respected for their work and results, not for their looks, as Jesseca states.
Unfortunately, sometimes ladies do not wear anything provoking or do not do anything forbidden, but still can attract unwanted attention from men. Threatening situations can happen anyway and women should be ready for it.
How Can a Lady Protect Herself?
Staying at nights at the truck stops, walking through parking slots, stopping on the road due to a breakdown – all these situations might not turn out the way you want. That is why carrying any self-defense devices is crucial.
It might be:
- a pocket knife;
- a small taser;
- pepper spray.
Being focused on the surroundings, on other people around, choosing safe places to stay are essential to be safe doing this job.
Truck driving is a quick career to get onboard, it ensures good wages independent of gender, age or ethnicity. An annual income of a truck driver may help to improve living conditions, there are different bonuses that attract people to this job.
Many women have started recently choosing the truck driving path as their career. A lot of them enjoy the freedom and flexibility it provides. Women can set their own schedule, can sleep at home, and work all day long if they want. They can have a new adventure every day and see the country staying behind the wheel.
On the other hand, this job has its disadvantages too:
- it is tiresome;
- sometimes it’s not safe for women, as lady truck drivers can face disrespect and abuse from male drivers.
However, this job still engages more and more women every year.