Dem U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher are introducing legislation in their respective houses to support women in the trucking industry.
Currently, women make up 47 percent of the U.S. labor force, yet represent 24 percent of America’s trucking workforce and only about 7 percent of drivers.
The Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act would direct the administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to establish a “Women of Trucking Advisory Board.” Under this bill, the board would identify barriers to entry for women in the trucking industry, work across organizations and companies to coordinate formal education and training programs and help identify and establish training and mentorship programs for women in the industry. The legislation also requires the FMCSA administrator to submit a report to Congress on the board’s findings and recommendations.
“In Wisconsin, we make things, and we need to ensure we have a strong workforce to transport our goods to market,” said Baldwin, a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. “Removing the barriers that get in the way of women pursuing and retaining careers in trucking is key.”
This legislation received widespread support from shipping and trucking organizations, including FedEx, American Trucking Associations, Women in Trucking Association and UPS. Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association also voiced support for the bill.
“At a time when trucking companies are struggling to find and retain workers, it’s critical we find ways to address this problem and remove barriers to entry for women in this field,” said Gallagher, a Green Bay area Republican. “I’m proud to join this effort which takes steps to examine ways we can expand opportunities for women and strengthen the trucking industry’s workforce.”
-By Stephanie Hoff