International Women’s Day
Every year on March 8th, the world celebrates International Women’s Day, recognizing the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year’s theme, #BalanceforBetter, is all about building a gender-balanced world, a message that is particularly resonant in today’s shipping & logistics workforce where recent estimates show that only 8 percent of truck drivers in the U.S. are women.
In honor of IWD 19, uShip wanted to bring the statistics to life and hear directly from the women in the industry making their mark. Whether they’re starting their own trucking company or carrying on their grandmother’s truck-driving legacy, they’re the ones furthering the mission to achieve #BalanceforBetter in the industry and we wanted to do our part to give them the attention they deserve.
Meet Jacinda, Elizabeth, Heather, Stephanie & Melissa
Jacinda Duran, Third-Generation Truck Driver, Peoria, Arizona
“It’s Jacinda Lady Truckin’, coming at ya”
Jacinda is a third-generation female truck driver, following in the footsteps of both her mother (who drove for 23 years!) and grandmother. She has driven for almost 5 years and encourages other women to join trucking for the freedom that comes with the open road.
Elizabeth Orton, Owner and Co-Founder of Find a Way Shipping, Dayton, Ohio
“As women, we doubt ourselves a lot — stop self-doubting, go and take that risk”
Elizabeth Orton is the Owner and Co-Founder of Find a Way shipping, a family-based business she started with her cousin that has grown fourfold since starting in July 2018. For Elizabeth, being her own boss means freedom and the ability to provide job opportunities for those in her community.
Heather Hoover Salomon, EVP of Operations at uShip, Austin, Texas
“I’ve personally overcome the ridicule that woman face by just knowing that they’re wrong — and I’ll prove it”
Heather is a logistics technology executive with uShip dedicated to uplifting women and bringing balance to the industry. She began as a uShip intern and in the past 15 years has risen to EVP.
Melissa Derma, Co-Owner of Derma Transport, Port Angeles, Washington
“At first, I was a little uncomfortable entering the transport industry, but in the seven years that my husband and I have been doing shipments, I’ve grown much more confident in how it all works and working with customers”
Melissa Derma and her husband Dustin have been married for 25 years. Together, they travel up and down the West Coast delivering everything from motorcycles to horse-drawn carriages.
Stephanie Savard, Refrigerated Goods Transporter, Montreal, Canada
“It’s the last thing you’d expect” — in response to how welcoming she’s found the trucking industry to be towards women
Stephanie gave up a tech career to begin driving produce between California and Canada with her partner, Christine. As a transgender woman, she was surprised to find little gender discrimination in the industry.
#BalanceforBetter at uShip
uShip is a technology platform that connects individuals and businesses who need to move large and bulky items with drivers who have a bit of extra truck space. At uShip, we believe that diversity needs to be made a priority for the entire industry.
As such, we know how important it is to be transparent about our own efforts to build diversity within the industry — 40% of our corporate employees are women and our leadership team is currently 50/50. While we’re always looking to do more, here are a few ways we’re looking to do our part in creating #BalanceforBetter:
- Instating new diversity and inclusion training — two cohorts at uShip have already gone through the program, and we’re ensuring that every single one of our employees will by the end of 2019
- Doing the upfront work to ensure reaching diverse hiring pools, including ensuring job seekers see unbiased or gender-neutral verbiage, imagery, etc., on the site and actively recruiting more women for key roles using sources such as Power to Fly
- Fold in stronger diversity benefits, including support for new mothers in and out of the office such as maternity leave, maternity rooms, dependent care, etc.
- Hosting women in coding meetups at our HQ in Austin, Texas, specifically Lightning Talks around professional development
Share These Stories
Inspired by these women in trucking and logistics? Like, share, and re-tweet below using #BalanceforBetter and #IWD2019
Useful Statistics and Resources
According to Women in Trucking:
- Women comprise approximately 8 percent of the driver population
- Women comprise 12.5 percent of all workers in truck transportation
- 21% of transportation, storage, and distribution managers are women
On trucking, in general:
- There are around 3.5 million truck drivers in the US and one in nine are classified as independent. These are mostly owner-operators. These drivers are essentially small business owners and thus important components of the nation’s transportation industry.
- Truck driver is the most common job in 29 states
- In 2017 trucks in the US hauled 10.77 billion tons of freight and motor carriers collected $700.1 billion, or 79.3% of total revenue earned by all transport modes
- The American Trucking Association anticipates for-hire carrier tonnage in the U.S. will rise to over 6.3 billion tons by 2023, with annual growth of 3.3% through that year and then 2.9% growth from 2024–2028
On the trucker shortage:
- More than 50K drivers are needed to meet the demand companies are putting on the industry
- By 2026, the ATA estimates that number will be nearly 175,000
- According to the ATA, large truckload carriers saw an average turnover rate of 98% in second quarter 2018, the highest rate since 2013