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Women In Trucking Seeks to Accurately Count Women in Trucking

January 03, 2017

FMCSA Administrator Scott Darling and professional driver Stephanie Klang. Photo via Women in Trucking
FMCSA Administrator Scott Darling and professional driver Stephanie Klang. Photo via Women in Trucking

The Women In Trucking Association has created the WIT Index in an effort to more accurately track the number of women working in the trucking industry.

WIT partnered with the National Transportation Institute to obtain more accurate data after it found issues with the way the Department of Labor was reporting the number of women in the trucking industry.

After DOL reported that the percentage of female drivers had dropped to 5.1%, WIT began to examine who the department was including and excluding from the category. It found that, in some cases, jobs that were counted as truck drivers were not accurate descriptors of a traditional, over-the-road driver, making the data less reliable.

“We know that women represent a largely underdeveloped minority group in our industry,” said Leah Shaver, NTI’s COO.  “We also know, from recent conference discussions and media coverage, that benchmarking gender distribution in our industry is necessary to quantify progress.  We’re going to help trucking companies do just that.”

NTI directly surveyed carriers for data regarding driver wages, benefits, and retirement plans and, in the past year, added two questions about the employment of women within fleets.

Over the course of three quarters, NTI found that the average percentage of female drivers at these carriers was 7%. NTI also found that women comprise 24% of management at the carriers surveyed as opposed to the 18.1% reported by DOL for supervisors of transportation and material moving workers.

Among carriers surveyed, Prime led respondents with women drivers making up 12% of its driver population.

WIT and NTI are still looking for more submissions to the WIT Index to show the growth of women in the trucking industry and would like all carriers to participate in sharing company statistics as the index is developed.

To participate, contact the National Transportation Institute by clicking by visiting driverwages.com and entering company information and relevant numbers.

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