Even with recent advancements in terms of feminism and equality in Western nations, there is still a lot of work to be done and there remain many inequalities and unique challenges for women in the workplace. There are also still many industries that are viewed as male-oriented or male-dominated, with truck driving being a commonly cited example.
However, statistics show that the number of female truck drivers is on the rise, and there are many benefits to be enjoyed for women who want to work in the trucking industry. Truck driving can be a rewarding job, with every trucker helping to support the nation’s communities and facilitate the flow of goods. It can also pay quite well, especially as you work your way up the trucking ladder.
However, that’s not to say that trucking doesn’t come without its fair share of challenges, including some problems that female drivers specifically need to think about. Women truckers may find it harder to maintain the right work-life balance if they have children, for example, and they can be subject to harassment or even violence. Here are some female trucking safety tips to help out.
Research Carriers and Find One with Good Values
Not all truck companies and carriers are equal. Some are run very differently than others, and some can be far more welcoming and caring for female drivers than others too. This is why it’s strongly recommended for female truckers to carry out additional research when looking for carriers to work with, trying to find those that are best-suited to meet their needs.
The best carriers really care about equal opportunities and female driver safety. They’ll have policies in place to protect and encourage female drivers, making everyone feel welcome and valued, regardless of their gender, and helping women drivers stay safer too, with strong action against harassment and other systems in place to help you feel safe in your truck and on the road.
Strike the Right Balance
Work-life balance is an important issue to consider for all truckers, regardless of gender or personal situation, but it can be especially important to women, as there’s the possibility that women may become pregnant and need to take maternity leave at one stage or another.
Because of the fact that trucking has historically been such a male-dominated profession, many carriers don’t have the most modern policies in regard to flexible work arrangements to help their drivers enjoy the best work-life balance. So this is something you’ll need to think about and discuss with your carrier before deciding who you want to work with.
Focus on Safety, Both in and Out of Your Truck
Safety is one of the top concerns for women in many different lines of work, including truck driving. Statistics show that women are far more likely than men to be the target of sexual harassment, assault, and other forms of aggressive behavior, and this can happen to truck drivers while on the road or at truck stops.
As a trucker, you’ll be driving to lots of different places and encountering all kinds of people along the way, and you can’t always be sure of how those people will behave. Many female truckers are encouraged to have some sort of personal defense device on their person when walking around truck stops, especially late at night. Some female drivers also recommend adding “team driving” stickers to your trucks and closing the bunk curtains so that it looks like you’re not alone.
Connect with Other Female Drivers to Build a Support Network
Women in many different fields of work have found comfort and support in reaching out to other women in similar positions, and this can be a great move for female truckers too. Having other people to talk to will help you feel less alone, and you can share ideas, thoughts, and recommendations to help each other stay safe.
There are several women trucker groups out there who are always happy to welcome new members into their ranks. These groups can be valuable support systems for many female drivers, especially those who are just starting out. What’s more, some of these groups actively advocate for better policies and stronger rights for female truckers, which may be something you’d like to get involved with as well.
Being a female truck driver isn’t always easy, and there are some challenges to face along the way, but you shouldn’t let those challenges prevent you from following your dreams and succeeding in your trucker career.