Women in Trucking
Sometimes students ask us if many women are driving trucks these days. We always answer with something like, “Lots of our students are women.” Because that’s the truth. If you want to get your CDL, we’ll make sure you get it. End of story.
However, that doesn’t mean sexism in trucking doesn’t exist, or that the history of and the ongoing violence, exclusion, harassment, and other evils experienced by women in the trucking isn’t a major concern.
It is, always will be, and will hopefully come to a complete end in the nearest possible future. We hope to help do it.
In the meantime, we appreciate the efforts of those fighting against sexism in trucking. We’ve put together a short commentary on some of our favorite recent and not-so-recent posts on the web relating to this subject. We hope you enjoy.
Some Experiences and Advice by Women Truck Drivers
Diane Sawyer and 20/20 interviewed a few courageous women from a variety of industries regarding their experiences with sexism and other obstacles. We loved this piece. In it, Brittney Richardson and Jessica Orosco, two female truck drivers, share details and offer advice for women thinking about driving or currently in the trucking industry.
Brittney, a former police officer, was told she would never make it, and that it was a “man’s job.” However, she loves the “freedom of the open road… the independence that it [trucking] brings… and of course, I love the income.” Those qualities of the trucking industry overwhelm the negatives of working a “man’s job,” for Brittney. She does say it is crucial for women to understand the risks and how to avoid them.
Jesseca “Road Queen” Orosco is another woman truck driver who shared her experiences and advice with Diane Sawyer. Once at a desk job, she decided to get her commercial driver’s license (CDL) and began her career as a trucker. She explains how women should deal with sexual harassment. “If you don’t want to be sexually harassed and if you want to be treated like a lady, stay a lady in a male-dominated field.” We dunno how we feel about this bit of advice, but it may help some people avoid sexual harassment.
“It’s about productivity, not how you identify yourself.”
In particular, she notes:
“The job no longer requires brute strength and some women who do it say they love it.”
This is the truth we would like to highlight. The only thing that prevents you from getting your CDL is your health. Not your sex, not how strong you are, not even your personal background. If you want your CDL, woman, man, or however you identify, we will help you get your CDL and making $70,000+ a year in Oklahoma, or wherever you end up driving.
Luella Bates, Lillie Drennan, and Adriesue “Bitsy” Gomez are highlighted as some of the pioneer women truck drivers.
Shen notes that trucking is listed by the BLS (Bureau of Labor and Statistics) as a nontraditional job for women.
CDL University officially doesn’t care whether BLS data reflects a tradition of women in trucking – we care about producing the best truck drivers in the United States. Period.
As for safety, we teach our students safe driving and safe best practices in the industry. We take daily feedback from our students on how we can improve, and if a student doesn’t like what we’re doing or not doing, we work with them to make appropriate adjustments or changes. That means if we aren’t making you feel comfortable about what it’s gonna be like out on the road, then we’re gonna hear about it and fix it.
Obviously, we can’t be out there with you driving for you or managing you in your career, but what we hope what we teach will stay with you forever.
If you’re a woman thinking about a career in the trucking industry, come talk to us and let us get you in a truck. Our instructors work hard to make sure every one of our students feels comfortable behind the wheel. Check out this testimonial by one of our graduates, Lisa Foster, where she discusses how CDL University instructor, David Austin, approached her nerves about driving.
At CDL University, we work with students, trucking companies, and independent organizations to better the trucking industry for America’s truck drivers, which very much includes fighting against workplace discrimination and sexism, both on and off the road.