Original article published by FMCSA
As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s focus on helping improve the trucking industry, the Women of Trucking Advisory Board will offer new insights on how to get more women behind the wheel
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hosted the inaugural meeting of the Women of Trucking Advisory Board (WOTAB), where members discussed the results of a new FMCSA report on driver safety. The new Advisory Board, created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is composed of 16 founding members with diverse backgrounds in the industry, and is focused on recruiting, retaining, supporting, and ensuring the safety of women commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and strengthening the trucking industry as a whole. Collectively, WOTAB members have more than 80 years of driving experience with trucks, motorcoaches, and ports and more than 275 years in trucking and other modes of transportation. Currently, women make up just seven percent of all truck drivers on the road today.
“Truck drivers are the lifeblood of American supply chains, yet at a time when America needs truck drivers more than ever and can’t afford to leave any talent on the table, women are still vastly underrepresented in the industry,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who kicked off the first Women of Trucking Advisory Board meeting. “Everyone deserves to feel safe in the workplace, and we’re grateful to this first Women of Trucking Advisory Board for helping address safety and other industry challenges to ensure these good, vital careers are accessible to all.”
“Safety is FMCSA’s number one priority, and all truckers should feel safe in this industry,” said FMCSA Administrator Robin Hutcheson. “It’s so important to have a diverse board of women trucking professionals who will help make the industry safer and a more appealing career option not only to women but to everyone who has been underrepresented in the industry.”
FMCSA conducted its survey, Crime Prevention for Truckers, to better understand the nature and prevalence of harassment and assaults against truckers, specifically women and minorities. The report details harassment, threats of harm, or actual physical harm perpetrated against truckers, their possessions, vehicles, or cargo.
The survey found that female truck drivers are exposed to more sexual harassment at their companies or by their trainers than their male counterparts. In addition, roughly half of the harassment incidents go unreported due to concerns that reporting the incident would not make a difference.
The Women of Trucking Advisory Board will use the results of this survey and other data, as well as the firsthand experience of its 16 women members, to make recommendations and discuss the next steps regarding the findings on harassment, assaults, and crimes being committed against women truckers.
“The survey information will contribute to better understanding obstacles to joining the industry, and to implementing best practices moving forward. Addressing the results and recommendations of the study will be the first of many opportunities for WOTAB to make an impact,” said Administrator Hutcheson.
President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law created the Advisory Board to review and report on policies that provide education, training, mentorship, and outreach to women in the trucking industry and identify barriers and industry trends that directly or indirectly discourage women from pursuing and retaining careers in trucking.
WOTAB is part of the Biden Administration’s Trucking Action Plan that is focused both on recruiting and retaining more drivers. In addition to WOTAB, DOT is also undergoing a driver compensation study, establishing a truck leasing task force, working with the U.S. Department of Labor to establish more driver apprenticeship programs, providing more funding to make Commercial Driver’s License processing more efficient, and more.
Read more about the WOTAB here.
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