As the trucking industry struggles with epic driver turnover, many fleets are reaching out to women as a previously overlooked source of skilled labor. Industry leaders have been emphasizing the need to recruit more women (who account for less than 8 percent of the national driver work force) as a solution to the driver shortage, which is expected to reach 63,000 in 2018.
The proponents of hiring women have data on their side. Statistics show that, on average, women truck drivers have a lower risk of being involved in a crash than men. A two-year study by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the research arm of the American Trucking Associations, found that women truck drivers were safer than their male counterparts in every statistically significant safety behavior.
And now a new study points to another benefit of putting women behind the wheel of a big rig—they are less likely to quit. A research paper from Stay Metrics, a South Bend, Ind.-based provider of driver feedback, engagement, training, and retention solutions, showed that women drivers were more satisfied with their jobs than male drivers were. Compared with men, female drivers were less likely to report being bored by their work, and were more likely to feel they were fairly compensated and more satisfied with their home time. Significantly, the study also found women were less likely to have considered leaving their present carriers and more likely to see themselves driving for the same carrier next year.
Stay Metrics generated the data through the Annual Driver Satisfaction Survey it administers to drivers on behalf of its motor carrier clients, using responses from nearly 16,000 drivers who completed the survey between Jan. 1, 2017, and July 31, 2018.