In honor of International Women’s Day, we would like to celebrate women in the trucking industry!

The trucking industry is vast and much needed in our consumer-driven society. One thing we are starting to notice more, is a growing number of women involved in all facets of transportation. Women are not new to the transportation industry, and have been present for nearly a century, yet were rarely recognized until now. In 2011 women made up 5.1 % of the trucking industry. In 2017, that percentage has increased significantly to 12.5% in truck transportation.

Here are some historical facts featuring women in trucking!

The 1st licensed woman truck driver was Luella Bates. She drove a class B truck for the Four-Wheel Drive Auto from 1918-1922 in Clintonville, Wisconsin. Credit is often given to Lillie Elizabeth McGee Drennan of Texas as the 1st female truck driver, but she was actually the 1st woman to open her own trucking business. Lillie had a hearing impairment that threatened her ability to be granted a license by a regulatory commission of her day. She argued her case successfully, and was granted her commercial truck driver’s license in 1929.  During the 1960s, many women pursue their trucking careers, despite heavy push back from the unions. Women have played a critical role in the future of the trucking industry, and it’s still a work in progress.

Today, many women become truck drivers both before and after having children. Some get their commercial driver’s license (CDL), join their loved one on the road, and become team drivers. It’s very important for women truckers to keep their sense of humor and not take insults to heart. To survive in the industry m women truckers, must be tough and learn how to take a little criticism.

There are a lot of women in the trucking industry; behind the wheel, women mechanics, women in operations and more. Trucking has opportunities for women in every aspect of fulfilling careers!

US Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Lan Chao, is the 18th and current secretary, sworn in as the Trump administration’s Transportation Secretary on January 31, 2017. Chao is the 3rd US Secretary of Transportation. Elaine is the principal adviser to the President in all matters relating to federal transportation programs. This is her second cabinet position, she served as US Secretary of Labor from 2001-2009.

Trucking organizations for women increasingly offer mentorship programs, and operate forums and blogs where drivers can discuss culture shock on the road, mental health, safety, tactics for getting security clearance to enter nuclear facilities, beauty tips and more.