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Could women be the answer to the problem of driver shortage in the trucking industry? Representative Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) and Ellen Voie, president and CEO of Women in Trucking, say yes. According to a recent report from WBAY Channel 2, of Green Bay, only 7 percent of semi-truck drivers in the United States today are women. However, advances in technology and equipment are making this job one that women can do just as well as men can.
An additional report from Smart-Trucking states that companies are not only open to hiring more female drivers, but they're actively looking to do so. In addition to helping with the driver shortage, statistics show that females are five times less likely to be involved in an accident than male drivers are, the Smart-Trucking piece stated.
Gallagher participated in a Women in Trucking sponsored ride-along with a female semi-truck driver in order to learn more about the industry and the needs of drivers, including safety and infrastructure, the WBAY article noted. He stated that he found the trip, taken with a 27-year veteran of the road, to be eye-opening. Voie hopes that he and other legislators who participate in the ride-alongs will learn more about how to support the women who are currently in the industry and will remember them with future legislation.
The American Trucking Association revealed that the driver shortage stood at 36,500 in 2016 and was expected to climb to more than 50,000 by the end of 2017. Women in Trucking is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote careers for women in the trucking industry, increase the number of women in the industry, and improve working conditions for women drivers. Founded in 2007, the organization also hopes to be a resource to women in the industry and to raise awareness for women's issues. The organization receives support from a number of big names in the industry, including Daimler Trucks of North America, Michelin North America, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, Walmart, and others.
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