A highly scientific—wait, no—a Twitter poll carried out by the United Kingdom’s Freight Transport Association asked ladies if they would drive a 44-metric ton truck, and over 79% at the time of their press release responded yes. Trucks! Trucks! Trucks! Trucks!!!
From a Freight Transport Association press release:
Over 79% of ladies are keen to get behind the wheel of a lorry, and there is a rise in younger women wanting to take up driving – according to FTA figures revealed today.
A Twitter poll carried out by the Freight Transport Association, asked ladies if they were willing to drive a 44-tonne truck as less than one per cent of truckers are currently female. Seventy-nine per cent of respondents voted ‘yes.’ As a result FTA now says it is important to explore why more women aren’t coming into the industry.
Fewer than 1% of truck drivers in the UK are women, hence their question. However, I found the tweet, and more folks chimed in with “no” before the closure of the poll, bringing that resounding “yes” to a still-whopping 71%!
Of course a poll on an account for transport professionals is going to be gung-ho about the job, though. There’s no way to determine whether all of the 17 (!) respondents were women, either. There’s a good chance that isn’t the case.
As someone outside the industry, it’s not hard to understand why so few women get involved in trucking. Female truckers in the United States, for example, are too often the targets of sexism and abuse from their male coworkers, and have to deal with companies that don’t care enough to do anything about it.
But hold the presses! A Twitter poll says we’re interested anyway!
Unfortunately, Freight Transport Association Skills Policy Development Manager Sally Gilson only offered a more general explanation as to why there’s been a shortfall of 45,000 truckers in the UK in the FTA’s press release:
These figures are encouraging as it is essential that more women are recruited – currently only one per cent of [heavy goods vehicle] drivers in the UK are female.
We believe that one of the biggest barriers for would-be truck drivers is the cost of gaining a licence and training - around £3,000. FTA has been calling on Government to provide a suitable loan system.
They’re going to have to dig quite a bit deeper than financial issues to figure out why so few women are being kept away. Money alone isn’t the reason.
Either way, let’s hope the Freight Transport Association’s search for “why” leads to better trucking industry practices worldwide, and a workplace that’s finally more welcoming to women. That needs to happen soon, as the FTA themselves note that the number of women who are registered truck drivers in the UK is on the rise, regardless.