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Study: Why Aren’t More Women Becoming Truckers?

Why Aren't Women Becoming Truckers?

Why Aren’t More Women Becoming Truckers?

In June 2024, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released a comprehensive study identifying and mitigating the challenges faced by women truck drivers.

Women have historically been underrepresented in the trucking industry, a field crucial to the nation’s economy. Despite the increasing visibility of women in trucking advertisements and a gradual rise in their numbers, significant barriers still exist. The ATRI study aims to identify these challenges and propose practical solutions to encourage more women to join and thrive in the trucking industry.

Key Challenges

  1. Negative Industry Image and Perception
    • Inequitable Social Norms: Women truck drivers often face gender bias, discrimination, and a lack of respect from their male counterparts and the general public. This negative perception can discourage women from entering or staying in the profession.
    • Misuse of Social Media: Social media has become a double-edged sword, where women drivers sometimes face harassment or unwanted attention due to oversharing their locations and personal details.
    • Lack of Younger Drivers: The trucking workforce is aging, and the industry struggles to attract younger drivers, including women, to replace the retiring ones.
  2. Unable to Complete Truck Driver Training
    • Inability to Pay for Training: The high cost of training programs, which can range from $4,000 to $12,000, poses a significant barrier for many women.
    • Lack of Driving Skills and Knowledge: Women may enter training programs with less experience or confidence in their driving abilities, leading to lower completion rates in some cases.
    • Limited Access to Childcare: The lack of affordable and accessible childcare options makes it challenging for women with children to commit to training programs.
    • Excessive Travel to Training Schools: The distance to training facilities can be a deterrent, especially for women living in remote areas.
  3. Unsatisfactory Motor Carrier Company Culture
    • Unclear and Inconsistent Communication: Women drivers often face poor communication from their employers, leading to feelings of isolation and lack of support.
    • Absence of Recognition and Appreciation Initiatives: Women in trucking frequently feel undervalued and unrecognized for their contributions.
  4. Inability to Acclimate to the OTR Driver Lifestyle
    • Insufficient Home-Time: The demanding schedules and long periods away from home make it difficult for women to balance work and family life.
    • Inability to Establish and Sustain Healthy Habits: The OTR lifestyle can negatively impact physical and mental health, making it challenging for women to maintain healthy routines.
  5. Limited Parking and Restroom Facility Access
    • Shortage of Safe Parking: Finding secure and accessible parking spots is a common challenge for all truck drivers, but it poses additional safety concerns for women.
    • Lack of Clean Restrooms: The scarcity of clean and safe restroom facilities on the road is a significant issue for women drivers.
  6. Excessive Gender Harassment and Discrimination
    • Discrimination During Training: Women often face discriminatory behavior during their training, which can discourage them from completing their programs.
    • Concern Over Personal Safety: Safety concerns, both on the road and at rest stops, are major deterrents for women considering a trucking career.


Addressing these challenges is not only essential for creating a more inclusive and equitable work environment but also for meeting the growing demand for truck drivers. By improving industry perceptions, enhancing training support, fostering a positive company culture, and ensuring the safety and well-being of women drivers, the trucking industry can attract and retain more female drivers.


Read more breakdowns of other studies:

Study Shows That Truckers Step up During Crisis Situations

Truckers Asked to Weigh In On Legalizing Marijuana

Survey Shows Americans’ Appreciation for Truckers



Access the full report by ATRI.

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