New Federal Money to Help Make the Trucking Industry More Inclusive

Female truck driver

Students taking dispatcher training courses at an automotive school in Canada will be pleased to hear that the federal government is putting $421,720 into the trucking industry for the purpose of encouraging inclusivity and hiring more women. Students taking auto mechanic training should be aware of similar new efforts in their field to encourage the training and hiring of women.
“Women have an important role to play in the future of the trucking industry and our organization is committed to supporting their success,” Angela Splinter, the CEO of Trucking Human Resources Canada said, “this Government of Canada support will allow us to make investments in diversity and career development that will benefit both women and the trucking industry for years to come.”

How it Will Work

Kellie Leitch, federal Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, announced this increased funding at Trucking HR Canada’s Women with Drive Leadership Summit, explaining that it will come in two parts. The first $296,720 is for a three year project designed to create a sustainable mentorship model for women entering the trucking industry, and then to test this model with employers in target markets in Ontario, British Columbia and Manitoba.
Originally a proposal for the “Workplace Opportunities: Removing Barriers to Equity” program, this initiative will bring together representatives from all levels of the trucking industry. Their goal will be to identify barriers women face and opportunities women have when entering the industry.
The remaining $125,000 is being set aside to identify the best practises for hiring and integrating members of underrepresented groups in the trucking industry. The funds are supposed to help develop the case for workplace diversity as a business advantage and produce both a seminar and webinar to help develop workplace diversity programs.

The Current Situation

Across all Canadian industries, women account for 48% of the workforce. The numbers for the trucking industry, though, are much lower. Women account for just 25% of freight claims and safety and loss prevention specialists, only 18% of dispatchers, 13% of parts technicians, 11% of industry managers and a mere 3% of truck drivers, mechanics, technicians and cargo workers.
“I have been spending a lot of time on boards and we published a report last June about mentorship,” said Leitch, arguing that her government’s initiative is the way to change the numbers in the trucking industry for women. “It’s about championing, and about having someone in your own industry who understands your career path from beginning to end. If you don’t have an advocate at the table with you talking about what you are qualified form, it’s all the more challenging.”
Do you think the trucking industry will be more inclusive of women thanks to these initiatives?

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