New group wants to increase number of women truckers

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A new organization called Females in Trucking is attempting to solve the shortage of over-the-road drivers “one woman at a time.”

According to the group’s website, www.femalesintrucking.org, its mission is to come up with a profile for female OTR drivers, identify women who match that profile and connect those potential drivers to trucking executives.

Women currently make up about 5 percent of the nation’s OTR drivers, a number that is twice what it was 20 years ago. Females in Trucking charges the low number of female drivers to several factors, including the fact that many women don’t realize trucking is an available career option for them.

According to the group, other factors include the fact that trucking companies don’t understand how to recruit female drivers, don’t fully realize the benefits of hiring them and don’t organize their boards, dispatchers and driving teams in ways that encourage women to drive.

Ellen Voie, current retention marketing manager for Schneider National and former executive director of Trucker Buddy International, is on the organization’s board of directors. Voie’s trucking experience dates back to 1980 when she worked as a traffic manager, dispatcher and freelance trucking writer.

Atlanta-based company Taming Turnover, which helps motor carriers and other companies with recruiting and retention strategies, also is involved in starting the new organization.