When the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic first hit the United States, millions of jobs were wiped out, particularly among women who found themselves back home and coordinating everything from elderly parent medical issues to additional home-school activities for kids.
A year later, the industry has 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 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 2028. 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.
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Technology, finance, data analytics roles
The opportunity to build a professional career leveraging expertise in data and analytics is what’s needed in the transportation industry. Forward-thinking companies in the industry see the value in this type of gender-diverse skillset, where ongoing analysis, reporting and statistical modeling provides custom analytic reports for clients and bank partners to examine cost metrics and establish an optimal fleet modernization strategy.
A growing number of companies in the trucking and transportation industry are realizing the unique skillsets that women offer. Organizations have also been instrumental in advocating for women to learn more about opportunities in the industry.
The U.S. economy needs the transportation system more than ever today. As more gender-diverse career paths open up inside transportation companies, organizations will unlock even more potential for growth through the advancement and empowerment of a more diverse workforce.
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