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The ATRI identified 12 main daily challenges experienced by women in the industry

According to a recent study by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), various obstacles prevent women from integrating and staying in the trucking industry. These obstacles include industry perception, completion of schooling, truck parking shortages, harassment, and gender discrimination.

Published on June 18th, the ATRI study incorporated significant input from thousands of female truck drivers, carriers, and training schools through surveys, interviews, and focused discussion groups for women drivers. The study also identified other barriers such as personal safety, unsatisfactory work cultures, and difficulties adapting to the on-the-road lifestyle. The survey conducted for the study included responses from 1,458 drivers, 82 carriers, and 8 training schools.

En la imagen se muestra una mujer camionera

Challenges and issues faced by women in the freight transportation industry

ATRI identified 12 daily challenges experienced by women in the industry, grouped into 6 primary categories representing these challenges and their respective subcategories:

  1. Negative industry image and perception
  2. Inability to complete truck driver training
  3. Unsatisfactory business culture in the trucking sector
  4. Inability to acclimate to the OTR (Over-The-Road) driver lifestyle
  5. Limited parking and shortage of safe parking facilities and restroom access
  6. Excessive harassment and discrimination based on gender

From the most pertinent issues according to the surveys, the top 5 were:

  1. Limited access to exercise facilities – 42.2%
  2. Limited access to safe parking – 41.1%
  3. Limited access to restroom facilities – 39.1%
  4. Concerns about personal safety – 30.2%
  5. Negative stereotypes – 28.5%
En la imagen se muestra una mujer de la industria del transporte

The need to increase women’s participation in the transportation industry

The low participation of women in the sector indicates significant problems and barriers. According to ATRI statistics, in 2023 the percentage of women in the industry decreased to 6.9%, compared to 8.1% in 2022. The study aimed to uncover the root causes of this decline and to offer a safe, competent, and equitable industry for women who wish to join it.

The study’s conclusions highlight several critical areas affecting women in the trucking profession. Specific initiatives for women implemented by carriers have shown positive results in maintaining a higher proportion of female drivers (8.1%) compared to those without such initiatives (5.0%). These initiatives include featuring women in marketing materials, mentoring programs, and exclusive support groups.

Finally, the main reasons why surveyed women leave the trucking profession include challenges related to family and lack of time at home. These factors underscore the need for labor policies that support work-life balance to retain and attract more women to the trucking industry.


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