CHET Operations Manager, Sandra, moves a truck in the school’s live yard. (Photo: Musket)

Editor’s note: This blog is reprinted with permission from CHET. For more insightful industry resources, visit https://chet.ca/blog/

In an industry traditionally dominated by men, there is a growing presence of strong and talented female truck drivers making their mark. CHET Academy is proud to highlight the stories of some of our exceptional female students who have found success and fulfillment in the world of trucking.

Marlene: Breaking Barriers with Confidence

Marlene’s journey as a truck driver began with the comprehensive training provided by CHET. She expressed her gratitude for the fulfilling opportunity and support she received along the way.

“I have recommended and will continue to recommend training through CHET,” stated Marlene. “Finding a job post training went well and I am still employed with said job. […] What I enjoyed most was my independence, working with helpful colleagues and the ability to see my training come to fruition. I enjoy driving and CHET along with their driving instructors encouraged, assisted and gave me the confidence I needed to do my job well.”

Marlene is thriving in her role, and hopes her positive experience and success serve as an inspiration to other women considering a career in truck driving.

Sarah: Embracing New Skills and Opportunities

Sunrise at an Ohio truck stop. (Photo: Sarah)

Sarah’s curiosity about truck driving was sparked during her previous job as a parcel delivery driver. She decided to explore the world of truck driving to discover new challenges and skills. Encouraged by a female truck driver she met, Sarah pursued her AZ training at CHET. She highlights the caring instructors and supportive environment that contributed to her remarkable experience.

“Don’t underestimate your competence,” said Sarah when asked about advice she would provide to other women. “Just because trucking is a male-dominated field, do not think you are not as capable.”

Sarah also highlighted a positive memory from her career thus far: “Watching the beautiful sunrise at a truck stop in Upper Sandusky, Ohio! I mean, I’m still new as a truck driver. I have only been doing this gig for 3 months. But overall my experience has been wonderful. You really learn a lot and you get to see your own skills get better every day.”

Cindy: Seizing Opportunities for Change

For Cindy, trucking presented an opportunity for a career change. Inspired by the men in her family who were truck drivers, she decided to give it a shot. With gratitude, Cindy shares that she hasn’t faced significant challenges as a woman in the industry.

“I haven’t had any major challenges with being a woman in the trucking industry,” says Cindy. “I’m thankful for that. I find a lot of the guys are very helpful and like to see ladies taking on this job. I’m lucky in that respect.”

Staying safe on the road remains a priority for Cindy, and she appreciates the chance to explore new places while driving. “I’m hoping to be able to keep driving a truck until I retire,” said Cindy.

Shira: Embracing Unexpected Opportunities

Shira’s journey into truck driving was unexpected but intriguing. Searching for an exit from non-profit management, she came across the Musket AZ grant and decided to seize the opportunity. Shira emphasizes the support she receives from fellow truckers. “Some things require a lot of physical strength,” she highlights as an example, “like fighting to open container doors that are frozen shut. That said, there is almost always someone around who is more than happy to help you out, and you do build those muscles for yourself every day.”

She values the independence and personal time she experiences while on the road, and she truly loves her chosen career. “I love driving by kids doing the “honk” arm pump and seeing how ecstatic they get when you lay it on. Or elderly women in cars who look up from their passenger seat and give me a big thumbs up.”

Shira also highlighted the support from her male peers, and the sisterhood between herself and other female truck drivers: “Don’t let anyone try to tell you that truckers are mean scary men like my family all told me. Sometimes they are surprised to see a woman, but it’s almost always a positive surprise. They are so supportive and really look out for your safety and success. And when you see other women on the job, it’s an immediate sisterhood because we are still the minority.”

C: Overcoming Challenges and Thriving

C, who requested to remain anonymous, began her foray into the trucking industry not without challenges. As a woman entering a traditionally male-dominated field, she faced skepticism and stereotypes. However, C’s determination and passion for the job allowed her to overcome these obstacles and thrive. “I’ve always been drawn to industries where women are underrepresented,” C shared. “I wanted to prove that gender should not limit anyone’s potential in any career.”

C’s commitment to excellence and her drive to succeed have earned her respect among her peers. She consistently demonstrates her strong work ethic, attention to detail, and dedication to safety. “I take pride in my work and strive to be the best driver I can be,” C emphasized. “I believe that my resilience and perseverance have contributed to my success in this industry.”

In addition to her professional accomplishments, C also values the personal growth and independence that trucking has provided her. “Being on the road has allowed me to explore new places and experience different cultures,” she explained. “It has broadened my horizons and made me appreciate the beauty and diversity of our country.”

“Believe in yourself and your abilities,” C advised. “Don’t let anyone’s doubts or biases hold you back. You have the power to achieve greatness.”

These remarkable stories from CHET Academy highlight the diverse experiences and successes of female truck drivers. These women are breaking stereotypes, embracing new opportunities, and finding fulfillment on the open road.

If you are a woman considering a career in truck driving, remember that your competence knows no bounds. With determination, support, and a passion for learning, you too can thrive in this exciting and rewarding field. 

Application for the 2024 Grant for Women can be found here!