Overcoming the Transportation Industry Gender Gap: Culture is Fundamental

Even with today’s focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, male-dominated industries still struggle with female representation in key areas.


Even with today’s focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, male-dominated industries still struggle with female representation in key areas. According to the most recent numbers from Women in Trucking’s WIT Index, 7 percent of truck drivers and 24 percent of management are women. While 24 percent can be seen as a noteworthy figure, the industry must endeavor to captivate a greater share of interest amongst women for this to be sustainable. At a time when industry demand for drivers is at an all-time high, opportunity awaits. It’s becoming paramount that we inspire a more universal appeal that generates an enthusiastic eagerness in those considering a professional transportation career.

A. Duie Pyle has more than 50 percent of its Administrative Director positions filled by women. The company has implemented several programs and service options that added to the number of women the company employs.

Provide Training & Development

Five years ago, Pyle revisited its training and development programs to create a clearer path to promotion for front-line leaders, managers, directors and senior leadership positions. Rather than wait for positions to open and deciding who to promote, the company’s leadership implemented a training program that proactively identifies those aspiring to roles of greater responsibility. Thanks to the company’s training and development, along with a clear path to promotion, entry-level female staffers have a vision and ambition to grow their careers within the company.

Implement Internship Programs

While internal programs are important in helping retain women, college internships give young women the chance to explore industries they might never have considered. Whether working on the dock or in an office setting, Pyle’s interns have the same opportunity as full-time employees for advancing through the company’s leadership development training program. This program has helped recent female college graduates move from front-line staff into operational leadership roles.

Promote Driving Opportunities

While Pyle still faces challenges in expanding the number of women driver applicants, the company is promoting new services and job opportunities which can serve to address the reluctance many women and men feel when it comes to the pressures of being behind the wheel. The company’s last-mile delivery fleet is a great option for those who do not hold a CDL and provides an ideal, introductory training ground for those who seek to earn one. This program permits beginner level drivers the convenience of slowly acclimatizing to the profession while also leaving them room to gradually improve their skills and advance further within the field.

By focusing on the people in the company and building a culture where they feel valued and see a long career, Pyle has found success in closing its gender gap.