Encouraging Women Into the Industry

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We are excited to launch our #WomenAtTheWheel campaign for 2018.

We will be doing a number of things aiming to encourage more women to enter the driving industry over the coming year - starting initially with a push on awareness.

Our first port of call was to establish exactly what situation the industry was in - so we submitted a FoI request to the DVLA to find out just how many female drivers with a commercial vehicle licence there were compared to men. The response came back that there are a total of 18,312 women with a C or C+E licence compared to 293,661 men - which means that women make up just 5.8% of the total.

Looking at the general population as a whole, the number of women who are actively taking part in the industry paints a stark picture. We took a look at our current driver base - currently just 4.4% of our drivers are female - comparatively, the UK general population is 51% female.

We wanted to speak to some of those women who we are already employing to find out a bit more about how they got into the industry, and their experiences of it so far. Here's what Katherine from Bridgwater had to say:

What kind of licence do you hold?
Class 2 (C)

How many years have you been driving professionally?
Erm, 10 now!

What were you doing before you got into driving?
I used to work in a kennel and there were horses that we used to transport around. The longer I was there the bigger the vehicles got and then in the end I had to take my Class 2. We used to do a lot of driving around Europe which I really enjoyed. I think that's where I got the bug! I eventually figured out it was the driving that I was enjoying more than anything.

Would you say that you enjoy your job?
Yes - love it.

Do you think there are enough women drivers?
No

What do you think would attract more women into the industry?
I hate to say it - but I think probably men need to change their attitudes. I've had times where I've turned up on sites and had comments like "do you want me to park that for you, love?". 9 times out of 10 you're probably more capable than them! I guess you could sum it up by saying that as a woman, people are waiting for you to make mistakes and if you do make any they get picked up on straight away when if a bloke made the same mistake it would probably be ignored.

Have you faced any challenges in your career as a result of you being a woman?
Yes

Tell us about those challenges.
Mostly as I said before people expecting you as a woman not to be as able as a bloke or assuming that you're not going to be as physically capable. I mean there are exceptions on both genders but women are definitely just as capable most of the time

 

Picture credit: www.commercialmotor.co.uk