Women drivers – your country needs you!
Date: 15th Wednesday, September, 2021
During the second world war, women were called upon to undertake jobs that were, at the time, predominantly confined to men. Manufacturing, transport, farming - whatever was needed to support the country in its time of need – women were called upon to do their bit. The cat was out of the bag - women were as capable as men! Fast forward 70 odd years and equality of opportunity has made significant progress, but some occupations are still male dominated. Which brings us on to driving.
Cast a glance at an HGV lorry travelling on the motorway with ‘Horses onboard’ or a similar warning indicator and it is likely being driven by a woman. Why? Because equestrian activities require vehicles to transport heavy animals around the country – and needs must. Furthermore, these vehicles may range from old bangers, built in the 1970’s to brand new million-pound luxury mobile homes for horses on wheels – with technology to match.
In a commercial context, attracting women into truck driving has not had the alure to broaden its appeal. Many things have improved, such as conditions of work, technology and training, but the general perception of the profession remains unchanged from eons ago.
At The Best Connection we have some women HGV drivers, but they are very much in the minority and we would like to see this change. Out of the 315,000 registered truck drivers in the UK, only 2,200 are female and of those, only 1% are HGV qualified – that’s a disappointing 220. The first area to address is perhaps changing the perception. One way of accomplishing this is by sharing experiences and viewpoints of those who have taken the plunge and made it their occupation. What are the pros and the cons, the lows and the highs?
Anecdotally, our drivers love the camaraderie and freedom of the road and it often fits well with personal lifestyles. The job can dictate extensive hours and long journeys across the country – but for some this may be preferable to office-based or factory-based work.
Driving won’t suit everyone but it does offer facets that are not found in other jobs that may appeal to some. For example, flexibility with working hours, equal pay, and relative peace and quiet in a comfortable hi-tech cab! Technology is playing a part in making the job easier for everyone and more pleasurable as trucks become more sophisticated and automated.
Much more, however, will need to be done to entice women into the profession. Apprenticeships can certainly play a part along with fast-track training. Marketing and industry image also need a fresh approach. After all, driving is competing with many other jobs that are vying for candidates in a diminishing pool of applicants.
Whilst driving articulated lorries may not be top of the list in school careers sessions, it is a skill very much in demand. If you are interested in becoming a road warrior, take a look at some of the many different types of driving jobs we currently have available https://thebestconnection.co.uk/jobs/search/?q=Driver&r=0&w=&pg=s
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