Trucking is an Industry for Women with Drive!
On March 8, 2023, the nation celebrated International Women’s Day, a day to recognize and celebrate women’s achievements, but also a time to raise awareness of achieving gender equality in the workplace.
When it comes to the trucking industry, men have traditionally dominated the workforce and while the number of female drivers remains low, a career in trucking is one that more and more women are starting to pursue.
For any woman with a desire to break the stereotype, the opportunities are endless, and for women that love to travel, a career in trucking should be appealing. After all, what better way to see the beauty of North America than behind the wheel while getting paid!
Lucinda, Owner Operator with Penner for the past seven years, has been a truck driver for almost 17 years. She drives as part of a team with husband Ken and gets to travel with their dog, Molly.
She states“It’s important to let the women know we can pretty much do any job the guys can do and the hours/miles as well. I like travelling with my job and seeing the countryside and cities in Canada and the United States.”
Her advice for newer drivers is letting them know that you’re always learning. “I’ve had my license for 17 years, and I feel like I’m still learning with every snowstorm and every rainstorm. It’s like I’m the new driver, and I must pay attention to what is around me because no two storms or cities are alike.”
Due to there being a smaller number of women in the industry, many of them have built an exceptionally tight community with each other. No one can truly identify a day in the life of being a female truck driver like another female truck driver.
Deb, another Owner Operator with Penner recalls “When I first entered the trucking industry, obstacles such as resistance to being accepted as an equal to our male counterparts were often the biggest issue. Some saw us as less capable, and men often thought they would be required to do our work for us. It took time, but much has happily changed from this mindset. I find it easier to accept help and offer help with my fellow drivers.”
“Mentoring new drivers, particularly young women, will always go far in growing the number of women in trucking” adds Deb. “So many women feel overwhelmed and uncertain, but I believe if they are shown, yes, you can drive that truck; and yes, you have the ability to do this as a career,” then you can turn the doubters into believers.”
While the wage gap between men and women in many industries remains a hot topic of discussion, it is virtually nonexistent in the trucking industry as the pay is based on mileage or hours. Add to that, an ongoing driver shortage, many companies are now providing extra incentives and benefits in the form of a sign on or referral bonus.
Kelly, who is one of Penner’s newer Company Drivers, has been drivingfor 27 years. She spent 10 years in a career in the Canadian Armed Forces as a Transport MSE-Op (Mobile Support Equipment Operator). She was also an LCV (Long Combination Vehicle) Hauler and has proudly achieved a tremendous personal accomplishment in becoming the first woman in Manitoba to place in the 2018 Regional Professional Truck Driving Championship, where she came in third place in her division.
“I have always been the type of person that enjoyed working with big equipment, meeting people, and making friends all across North America” says Kelly. “I would encourage more women to pursue a career in this industry, because WE CAN DO IT. Trust your gut, no matter who presses you. There are never any stupid questions, only stupid answers.”
Her advice is to keep an open mind, and always try to learn something, no matter your experience.
There are pros and cons that come with any job in all industries, but if you are a woman looking for a lucrative and stable career path that allows you to be in control, commercial trucking could be the right choice!
About Penner International
Penner International is a third-generation North American trucking company headquartered in Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada. For nearly a century, Penner International has been providing asset-based services to clients throughout North America and is one of Canada’s leading van carriers. Our services include truckload dry van, international and domestic transport.
From our customers to our drivers, we understand the value of service, competitive pricing, and reliability. We can ensure your goods are delivered to the right place at the right time, with safety and security on the forefront.