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NewsTruckingTrucking Regulation

U.S. lawmaker wants to break barriers to women truckers

A Republican Senator from Kansas is considering legislation that would create an advisory board within the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) focused exclusively on increasing the ranks of women in trucking.

The “Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act,” being crafted by U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, contends that the trucking industry “should explore every opportunity, including driver training and mentorship programs, to encourage and support the pursuit of careers in trucking by women,” according to a draft of the bill obtained by FreightWaves.

The bill’s language appears to be based largely on the “Promoting Women in Aviation Workforce Act,” introduced in 2017 by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois). That legislation was signed into law as part of the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization in 2018.

Moran’s legislation would require the FMCSA administrator to establish and appoint a five-member “Women in Trucking Advisory Board” within the agency “focused on creating opportunities for women in the trucking industry.” It would be tasked with providing education, training and mentorship, as well as with helping recruit drivers.

The board would include one member each from a major trucking company, a non-profit trucking organization, a trucking business association, an independent owner-operator, and a professional drivers’ association.

In making the case for changes at the regulatory level to improve women’s representation within trucking, the bill asserts that while women make up more than 50 percent of the U.S. workforce, they are “significantly underrepresented” in the trucking industry.

According to statistics cited in the bill, women hold just 24 percent of all transportation and warehousing jobs and represent only 6 percent of truck drivers. They make up 12.5 percent of all workers in truck transportation, and just 8 percent of company owners.

The bill’s draft language also points out that the total number of women truck drivers is decreasing at a time when they have shown to be safer than men while operating a truck, and 20 percent less likely than men to be involved in a crash.

The new board created within FMCSA would be required to submit a report to the administrator, no later than 18 months after the bill is enacted, that would include coordinating trucking companies, nonprofit organizations and trucking associations to help support women pursuing careers in trucking, as well as enhance training, education and outreach programs exclusive to women.

The Women in Trucking Association has been working with Moran in backing the legislation. “As a nonprofit association, we are happy to see the government supporting our efforts to increase the number of women employed in the trucking industry,” Ellen Voie, the association’s president and CEO, told FreightWaves.

Officials within Moran’s office were not able to provide details of when the bill would be formally introduced.

The FMCSA recently announced plans to assess the prevalence of crimes against women and minority truckers in the United States, an effort that the agency sees as potentially increasing the pool of qualified drivers.

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John Gallagher, Washington Correspondent

Based in Washington, D.C., John specializes in regulation and legislation affecting all sectors of freight transportation. He has covered rail, trucking and maritime issues since 1993 for a variety of publications based in the U.S. and the U.K. John began business reporting in 1993 at Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. He graduated from Florida State University majoring in English and business.

29 Comments

  1. This is a bad job for women. Are they going to have women only rest areas and truck stop? Otherwise they are in danger everyday parking next to very lonely men away from home for long periods of time plus making deliveries pickups in high crime areas. Women stay away please.

    1. Dan I’m a female flatbedder, I’ve been in a truck since I was a teenager I wouldn’t leave my job for any reason, i absolutely love it. To say this is a bad job for women is the most sexist comment I’ve heard. I have never had anything bad happen while on the road, you just have to be smart and alert to your surroundings but that’s any job, I mean thays even going to Walmart. I deserve this good paying job just like men do and the truth us I cant make money lole this with any other job, not even with my college degrees.

    2. It is not the responsibility of women to avoid this profession, it is the responsibility of men to treat them with respect. The idea that women need to be protected is both misogynistic and untrue. Your comments are incredibly sexist and are a symptom of the culture that excludes women.

    3. If you can’t keep from sexually assaulting women when you are “lonely” you need to take that upon yourself and don’t blame us other men who can act like professionals.

      Rapists and molesters are the ones that need to be driven out of the industry, not 50.8% of the potential workforce who happen to be female.

      1. Some of men butvnot all of the men is not the same of other men is much as bad as themself it is some good men out there are not the same men with the difference way of acting and know how to treat there women right and respect her and love her from your heart and mind and soul for a good men wouldn’t put another B’s among his women ever it is none of this can’t do like the good one ok we don’t ask to be sexy for something to happen to the women and some of them are not like the other woman they respect there body and some not you look at that ok we are not the same people every women are very different so do men ok

    4. I am a female truck driver. Somethings I will agree what other people are saying however, some I don’t. The only bad things that concern me are the 4 WHEELERS. They ALWAYS CUT US OFF! That’s the only complaint I have……

    5. So long as they keep it a level playing field I see no problem. I have to question the need for an advisory board in the 1st place and the waste of tax dollars. Generally speaking we all know how great the government runs things. Lol

  2. Taxpayer dollars on something stupid. Women are allowed in trucking only few people even know how to drive a truck today’s Trucking industry just blows they do not train them properly and do not know how to drive. The industry is know we’re short on truck drivers just individuals that are capable to do it. Every truck stop is full to the max by 5:30 p.m. people in Congress do not know what they’re doing by making these laws on trucks get behind the wheel on figure it out for a day or a week

    1. I agree,There is no need for taxpayer money to go for this.Women that want to work in Transportation do.They need drivers,warehouse,dispatchers.Any woman that wants to do the job is doing it.This is so ridiculous in 2019.

  3. Well said Kalyn,For myself I pray and hope great things happen for all women in the trucking industry cause I have said it for years now the only way things r going to get better in trucking is when the women really take over the trucking industry the only problem is I pray and hope they dont listen to a brunch of men on how to revise this mess that we r in I have been trucking since 1977 and trucking is nothing like it use to be and I know it will never be like that again but it sure could be better then what we have today.

  4. Are you kidding? Men make up just 11% if teachers at the elementary level and 2% if childcare workers. Your response is to ask what his point is and to falsely claim that there are plenty of male teachers? He is right, we need to look into this as well and pass similar legislation

  5. Good luck ladies. Keep that poo c clean please. Now men gonna start cheating on their trucker’s wife just like they been doing to men. Get them big mouth behind a wheel for 11 hrs and please do more disregard your tampon on the truck stop ground please.

  6. I do not see a problem having women out there driving trucks. Over my 33 years out there I have seen a lot of them, and I can say some handle the truck just as good as some men and some even better. So let them into the industry.

  7. As far as i can see there are no barriers keeping women out of the business. My experience tells me there just arent that many women who want to do what is a lonely dirty stressful and thankless job. Also why should we spend all this time and money pushing people into the industry. If the want to come out here by all means but we shouldnt be going and and coercing them. My enitre family including my mother have either driven trucks. Owned trucks. Or lived in a working truck. In every case my female relatives just didnt like the job.

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