Truck Driver Appreciation Week: The Women Behind the Wheel

LDL Voice

Although truck driving remains a male-dominated profession, the presence of women is progressively growing. In fact, the number of women truck drivers has increased by 50 percent since 2005 (DDS).  In honor of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, we’re celebrating the women behind the wheel who contest the misconceptions that trucking is a job solely for males. One organization worth recognizing for their efforts to encourage, inspire and educate current and prospective women truckers is Real Women in Trucking.

What is Real Women in Trucking?

Founded in 2010, Real Women in Trucking is an organization connecting female truck drivers throughout the country. The organization was founded in effort to provide a network of support for current female truckers and to encourage prospective female drivers in a predominately male industry. Real Women in Trucking gives female drivers a voice and seeks to educate members on industry issues, such as personal safety and job security. Real Women in Trucking is a community offering support, unity and encouragement.

Real Women in Trucking’s Mission

“To empower the women of trucking and those entering the industry through outreach programs, continuing education, advocacy, mentoring, networking and ongoing support to promote retention, encouragement and unity between both new and seasoned female drivers.

The Issues

Members of Real Women in Trucking have weekly conference calls to share ideas, network and mentor one another on the various issues drivers face. Health is often a concern for drivers as they spend long hours on the road, where there is little time for exercise and food options are limited. On “Wellness Wednesdays,” Real Women in Trucking are connected with a nutritionist and learn to seek healthier alternatives at rest stops.

Safety is another issue Real Women in Trucking take seriously. If a member goes on a walk alone, she often times checks in via phone calls with other members to ensure she returned safely. Furthermore, the women often warn each other of problematic carriers to raise awareness of disreputable carriers who do not abide by industry standards. Real Women in Trucking hope to keep the roads safe and encourage prospective students to seek proper training.

Advice for Women Looking to Get into the Trucking Business

Members of Real Women in Trucking advise that you make sure trucking is a career you are serious about. Trucking is not a 9-5 job; you work irregular hours and do not have a set schedule. The profession is not for everyone. However, for the women who love it, trucking provides them with a sense of freedom, pride and independence.Trucking is no longer a profession only for males. Special thanks to the following Real Women of Trucking for taking the time to share their experiences with us:

Sandi Talbott, Idella Hansen, Alison Morris, Jan Villar, Karen Martin, Shannon NeSmith, Lori Baker and Linda Friar.

For more information, visit Real Women in Trucking here. Happy Truck Driver Appreciation Week to all of the female and male drivers out there!
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