More than 20 leading women in Canada’s trucking industry joined together at the Truck World trade show in Toronto last week, participating in the inaugural meeting of Supporting Women in Freight Transportation.
The new national advisory committee was established by Trucking HR Canada and includes a cross section of senior managers, directors, presidents and C-level executives. Their goal is to educate women about careers in trucking, identify challenges and barriers to career paths, and promote the recruiting and retention practices which support women in the workforce.
Vicki Stafford, vice-president of resource development at Cavalier Transportation Services, was named the committee’s first chairperson. Linda Young, vice-president of HR/people development at Bison Transport, was named vice-chairperson.
“This committee will play a key role in identifying any barriers that stand between women and successful careers in the trucking industry,” said Stafford. “Together we will identify best practices, promote opportunities, and find long-term solutions to the driver shortage.”
The committee quickly established the first steps for an action plan as well as timelines for related activities.
“Only 3% of Canada’s truck drivers, mechanics, technicians and cargo workers are women,” observed Angela Splinter, Chief Executive Officer of Trucking HR Canada. “Any solution to the trucking industry’s intensifying shortage of personnel will clearly involve reaching out to this largely underrepresented group.” Women also account for just 11% of managers, 13% of parts technicians, 18% of dispatchers, and 25% of freight claims/safety and loss prevention specialists.
A long-term, chronic shortage of qualified truck drivers has been recognized in recent reports by the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) and the Conference Board of Canada.
For a complete list of committee members and to follow their activities, click here.