Fleet Advantage: Today’s Transportation Industry Offering More Gender-Diverse Career Opportunities
A year ago, when the Covid-19 pandemic first hit the U.S., millions of jobs were wiped out, particularly among women who found themselves back home and coordinating everything from elderly parent medical issues along with additional home-school activities for kids who were also sheltered at home.
A year later we have made great strides to bring back many of these jobs in a variety of roles and industries. While many women are also just now starting to look where to resume their careers, some of their best opportunities might just be found in industries that have traditionally been filled by a predominantly male labor pool.
Transportation Has Previously Been Male Dominated
Industries like trucking and transportation, automotive and aerospace have traditionally offered careers that have been filled predominantly by men. Sectors that have traditionally offered a larger pool of jobs for women, such as hospitality, travel and catering, have been particularly hit hard by the pandemic.
It is time women look at industries like trucking and transportation to advance or restart their careers, especially since these industries look vastly different from just a few short years ago.
There remains a significant shortage of drivers in the trucking industry. Women could have a significant impact in helping to reduce the driver shortage, and more companies are looking to hire more women to fill these roles. According to a 2019 report by the American Trucking Association (ATA), the industry was short roughly 60,000 drivers in 2018, up nearly 20% from the prior-year estimate of just over 50,000. The ATA warns that if current trends hold, the shortage could swell to over 160,000 by 20281. Driver opportunities abound for women, in addition to a plethora of other career potential.
New Growth Potential for Gender-Diversity
Gender-diverse opportunities are growing every day inside the corporations that operate within the trucking industry. Today, the transportation industry has shed its years-ago perception that it was filled with old men driving dirty trucks. The trucks themselves are now state-of-the-art in many cases, and the companies that oversee a multitude of operations are brimming with careers in fields such as finance, asset management, procurement, legal, technology, data and analytics.
Women in particular are playing a leading role in shaping the technology that’s being used to advance today’s transportation industry.
Technology, Finance, Data Analytics Roles
At Fleet Advantage I’ve played an integral part in the development of the company’s Life Cycle Cost Management (LCCM) Software within the company’s technology platform ATLAAS Unified (Advanced Truck Life Cycle Administrative Analytics Software). This module helps our customers identify and optimize the ideal time for replacing their aging trucks with newer, more efficient units.
The opportunity to build a professional career leveraging my expertise in data and analytics was exactly what I hoped for, but I didn’t initially think I’d find it in the transportation industry. Forward-thinking companies in the industry see the value in this type of gender-diverse skillset, where my ongoing analysis, reporting and statistical modeling helps the company provide custom analytic reports for our clients and bank partners to examine cost metrics and to establish an optimal fleet modernization strategy.
I initially began my career within the consumer goods sector, but quickly realized my skillsets were better suited for a B2B industry such as transportation where advanced business intelligence and data analytics are being leveraged to help large enterprise-level companies make decisions that improve their bottom line.
A growing number of companies in the trucking and transportation industry are realizing the unique skillsets that women offer. Organizations like Women In Trucking also have been instrumental in advocating for women to learn more about opportunities in the industry.
“The mission of Women In Trucking is simply to increase the ranks of women working in the industry,” said Ellen Voie, CAE, PDC for the Women in Trucking Association, Inc. “Companies who recognize the importance of gender diversity have proven to experience greater net returns, but more importantly, they make a focused effort to attract, retain and promote women.”
America’s economy needs the transportation system more than ever today. As more gender-diverse career paths open up inside transportation companies, these organizations will unlock even more potential for growth through the advancement and empowerment of a more diverse workforce.
About The Author: Jackie Jacobs is Senior Fleet Transaction Analyst and Project Manager for Fleet Advantage, a leading innovator in truck fleet business analytics, equipment financing and lifecycle cost management. For more information visit www.FleetAdvantage.com.