By Angela Splinter
The numbers don’t lie. The representation of women in the trucking and logistics industry remains well below their representation in Canada’s workforce as a whole.
Just 3% of truck drivers are women. 11% of the industry’s administrators are women. 18% of dispatchers are women.
With women comprising 48% of Canada’s labor force, clearly we need to up our game.
If these numbers aren’t enough to convince you, I’ve got more.
We recently surveyed 2,000 millennials across Canada to gauge their perceptions of the industry and whether they’d consider it for their profession. The good news is that there is a cohort interested in working in trucking. The not-so-good? Half of those interested think trucking is a job “for men only.”
We need to do a better of job of communicating that the trucking and logistics industry offers numerous career opportunities for women. We cannot afford to overlook close to half the potential workforce when there is such an urgent need for drivers, dispatchers, managers, and more diversity in our workforce.
For this kind of change to happen, we need to take a good look at our workplace practices, policies, and approaches to recruiting, training, and retention.
We need managers to lead by example. We need inclusive workplaces. We need women to see the economic opportunities we offer. We need to ensure we retain women by offering networking and mentorship opportunities. We need to invest in their professional development. We need to ensure we provide safe and respectful work environments.
We need to do more.
This year will mark the 5th anniversary of our Women with Drive leadership summit. Inspired by our theme of “driving towards a modern workforce,” we have a lineup of speakers that will motivate and educate.
Rona Ambrose, the former leader of Canada’s Official Opposition in the House of Commons, and the former leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, will open the day, followed by a female-led discussion on the impact of new technologies in the industry. David Coletto from Abacus data will share even more insights on that millennial research I keep talking about. And, to ensure that everyone leaves with practical ideas, our new learning highway will provide a series of speed-learning opportunities including an employment lawyer discussing workplace policies; the Women Building Futures driver training program; Labour Canada talking about upcoming Canada Labour Code changes; the Ontario Trucking Association’s “Next Gen” program; best practices from our own Top Fleet Employers; workplace wellness strategies; and more.
At a time when the industry is struggling to attract, recruit, and retain the next generation of Canadian workers, we need to ensure we get the message out that trucking and logistics welcomes everyone.
We all need to be a part of this important conversation, and you can have your say by joining us for Women with Drive on March 7th at the Sheraton Toronto Airport Convention Centre. To learn more, visit here.