Women on the road

Women on the Road

Traditionally, the trucking industry has been a man’s world, and transport contracts have seldom been entered into by females. But it is now the 21st century, and it is important to remember that women are not only entitled to, but actually increasingly do, work in the haulage industry.

It is estimated that there are 505,000 truckers in the UK, only 4% of which are women. That means that there are 20,200 female truckers in the UK. While the percentage may be low, the figure itself is not too shabby, and serves to remind us that women are an integral part of the trucker community.

Throughout the history of trucking, transport contracts and haulage, famous female truckers pop up every now and then, grabbing the media’s attention. Recently, a British woman has made it into the The Guardian, where she is interviewed about her non-traditional occupation: trucking.

Carrie Greenslade

The Guardian’s featured female trucker was Carrie Greenslade. Carrie has been a trucker for 20 years, loving her career. Described in The Guardian as anything but a stereotypical trucker, Carrie is a small, friendly woman. She loves exercise and the outdoors, and is the proud mother of four children. Everything about Carrie is just about the opposite of a trucking stereotype. In fact, she fits the housewife bill possibly more than the trucking bill. But Carrie is a shining example of a woman who defies a male-dominated industry, and her drive and commitment is admirable.

Carrie first got into trucking when her family’s business needed an additional HGV driver. Her family owned a mini-skip company, so trucking was nothing new to her. Subsequently, she made a career out of trucking, entering into transport contracts of her own. Today, she frequently works 12 hour shifts, delivering all sorts of goods, such as vegetables and other supermarket stock.

But Carrie has also been subject to a fair amount of sexism. She says that it has been minimal, but there is a general consensus that women should not be truckers. When she first went to trucking school, her teacher essentially dismissed the fact that she would want to drive large vehicles, and recommended courses that would restrict her to small vehicles only. But in her own words, Carrie said “Sod that,” and promptly found another school which did not impose such silly and sexist restrictions.

Bitsy Gomez

On the other side of the world, in Los Angeles, you will find another feisty female trucker, Bitsy Gomez. Bitsy is determined to bring about change in the male-dominated trucking industry, where she claims outdated traditions still exist. Bitsy is 33, and the founder of the Coalition of Women Truck Drivers. She has been actively fighting sexism within the industry, recently winning a case where she accused a vineyard of rejecting her transport contract proposal on the grounds that she is a woman.

Bitsy describes her absolute love of the industry, and even as a child her passion for trucking was clear. She would even go so far as to miss school to watch the truckers unload. She is a single mother, and a headstrong woman that is anything but faint-hearted. She boldly makes the statement, “A good truck is to a woman what a man should be,” summing up this fiery woman’s passion for the industry.

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