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Senator Baldwin Reintroduces Legislation to Support Women in Trucking

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Jon Tester (D-MT) – members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation – reintroduced the Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act, legislation to support women in the trucking industry and establish a Women in Trucking Advisory Board. Currently, women make up 47 percent of the United States’ labor force, yet represent 24 percent of America’s trucking workforce and only about seven percent of drivers.

“In Wisconsin, we make things, and we need to ensure we have a strong workforce to transport our goods to market,” said Senator Baldwin. “Women currently make up less than 10 percent of the truck driving workforce, and removing the barriers that get in the way of women pursuing and retaining careers in trucking is key. I’m proud to lead this bipartisan effort with Senator Moran because more job opportunities for Wisconsin women will lead to more economic security for working families.”

“Over the past year, we have relied on the essential service the trucking industry provides to transport critical resources to Kansas and across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Moran. “As the trucking industry continues to face a driver shortage, we must find new ways to recruit and retain drivers, including supporting women pursuing careers in trucking. This sensible and bipartisan legislation will lead to new job opportunities for women and promote equality for those who are currently working in the trucking industry.”

“Truckers are essential to keeping Nebraska’s economy running, but the industry is experiencing a shortage of drivers,” said Senator Fischer. “Women currently make up only 6.6 percent of truck drivers and 12.5 percent of all truck transportation workers. Examining ways to encourage more women to enter the trucking industry is good policy and could connect more women with good jobs.”

“Montana women represent a growing force in the transportation sector, but still face obstacles when it comes to careers in the trucking industry,” said Senator Tester. “This bill is a hat-trick, ensuring we’re breaking down barriers for Montana women, bringing more good-paying jobs to the Treasure State, and strengthening our workforce so we can deliver more of our world-class products to market.”

This legislation received wide-spread support from shipping and trucking organizations, including FedEx, American Trucking Associations, Women in Trucking Association and United Parcel Service (UPS).

“Although women currently make up 47% of the United States’ labor force, they represent less than seven percent of truck drivers and only a quarter of all transportation and warehousing jobs in trucking,” said American Trucking Associations Senior Vice President Edwin Gilroy. “While the trucking industry has taken great strides over the last decade, growing the number of women truck drivers by 68% since 2010, the fact is that women remain underrepresented in the industry. We agree that more work needs to be done. The Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act represents a tangible step toward a stronger and more diverse trucking workforce.”

“By creating an advisory board to utilize the expertise and resources of the Federal Motor Carrier Administration and the members of the board, we can increase the opportunities for women as drivers, technicians, owners, trainers and in other relevant career roles,” said Women in Trucking Association President and CEO Ellie Voie.“Although women have strengthened their presence in supply chain in the past few years, we know there are still issues that cause women to reject a transportation career. Our goal is to better identify these concerns and address them to create a more diverse industry. I look forward to working with you and your office in advancing this bill.”

“Working with Congress to make careers in trucking appealing, sustainable and successful for anyone who wants to enter our industry is a priority for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association,” said Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association President Todd Spencer. “We support the Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act because it will not only help more women begin careers in trucking, but will improve conditions for drivers currently behind the wheel. Some of the safest and most successful truckers on the road today are female members of OOIDA. We commend the sponsors of this legislation for ensuring their unique perspective and experience as small business owners will play an integral role in efforts to promote women in trucking.”

The Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act would direct the administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to establish a “Women of Trucking Advisory Board.” Under this bill, the board would identify barriers to entry for women in the trucking industry, work across organizations and companies to coordinate formal education and training programs and help identify and establish training and mentorship programs for women in the industry. The legislation also requires the FMCSA administrator to submit a report to Congress on the board’s findings and recommendations.

U.S. Representatives Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Sharice Davids (D-KS) introduced the bipartisan companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives. More information about the legislation is available here.