Schneider aims to recruit more women drivers, help with shortages
ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WBAY) - Experts say women make up less than 10% of truck drivers despite representing about 50% of the American workforce.
Schneider is trying to change that by putting more women in the driver’s seat of a big rig.
This effort to recruit more women truckers has a practical appeal for Schneider; it could help with the driver shortage that’s part of the ongoing supply-chain problems largely worsened by the pandemic.
“There is a misconception that your personal safety is at risk, and my biggest personal safety is the distracted four-wheel drivers around me and I am held to a higher standard,” Kellylynn McLaughlin, a driver trainer for Schneider, said.
McLaughlin says she’s taking aim at breaking down the stereotypes of jobs women can do. She’s part of an initiative at Schneider to recruit more women drivers.
A way she’s helping with that is driving across the country with a truck decal unveiled Friday afternoon depicting a woman trucker.
“We don’t tell our young girls, women, that they can do this job. That it’s an option. We just need to share that this is a career,” McLaughlin said.
According to Schneider, it has policies in place that provide a safe working environment for women, including zero tolerance for harassment.
The American Trucking Association reports that there’s a shortage of about 80,000 drivers, which is one of the factors contributing to the United States’ supply chain problems.
While Schneider has a driver training academy in Ashwaubenon, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College also offers people an opportunity to get their commercial driver license (CDL).
“I’m hearing different stories from different people of different backgrounds...looking to even start their own businesses or start a completely different type of job so they want to try out truck driving,” Pang Yang, seminar coordinator at NWTC, said.
While Schneider didn’t discuss pay at Friday’s event, the American Trucking Association reports the average long-haul driver working a national, irregular route made $58,000 in 2019.
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