Hard-working, strong and capable men are what you’d usually picture when thinking of drivers working for haulage companies. Today’s job market in the transport industry, however, is seeing more and more women enter its ranks.
Why Women Are Moving In
The bottom line is simple: women are looking for jobs, and haulage companies are offering jobs. The recent recession made many jobs redundant and the transport industry suffered along with everyone else. Now that business is picking up, however, these same companies are finding that it isn’t quite as easy to fill positions as it used to be. At the same time, more and more women are searching for employment opportunities; some are looking beyond traditionally feminine occupations and are starting to venture into lines of work that were once completely dominated by men.
The field of transport itself is a relatively easy one to break into. Learning how to handle lorries and other heavy vehicles takes about two weeks focused training, while obtaining the necessary licenses can take another two to four weeks. One these steps are done, a new driver – male or female – is technically ready to take on their first haulage jobs. In short, women can get the job done just as effectively as men – although there are still two pretty contentious hurdles that some women may need to overcome.
What Women Have to Offer
Truth be told, the transport industry is one field where gender is not that much of an issue. Strength and dexterity are not a problem when it comes to handling the large vehicles some haulage companies use, so the physical differences between men and women become irrelevant.
The motivation to do a good job is just as strong in single mothers caring for their children, women looking to supplement the income of their partners, or men providing for their families. And women have just as much to offer the industry as men do – that is, the ability to transport heavy loads from point A to point B.
One hurdle that some women may need to overcome is the reluctance to be accepted into what has been traditionally perceived as a masculine job. (It must be stressed that not all men have a problem with this and it’s an issue for the minority.) The physical and psychological toll of transporting goods over long distances can be intimidating at first, especially for women who may not want to be seen as “unfeminine”. This reluctance, however, quickly becomes irrelevant with haulage companies that adopt healthy working hours and labour practices for their drivers. The job itself becomes less intimidating when one remembers that it basically involves taking extended road trips all over the country.
The Big Picture
Gender offers no practical barrier when it comes to the transport industry, and women have great potential to handle a career in the field. Once more women themselves realize this plain and simple fact, the industry has the potential to be bolstered by a new workforce that it had previously been hesitant to tap in to.