OTTAWA, Ont. — A new national advisory committe has been formed with the goal of helping women find and develop careers in the trucking industry.
Supporting Women in Freight Transportation (SWIFT) was created to accomplish three main objectives:
- Raise awareness among women of the various career opportunities that exist in the trucking and freight transportation industry
- Raise awareness among employers of recruitment and retention practices that can better support the integration of women into the workforce
- Develop practical tools to support connecting women with careers in trucking and freight transportation.
SWIFT hopes to achieve these goals by developing a national employment strategy, identifying best practices regarding recruiting, hiring and promoting women, identifying the challenges and barriers women face entering or being promoted in the industry, and promoting the trucking industry as an industry of choice for women looking for good careers.
Angela Splinter, CEO of Trucking HR Canada, explains why this committee is needed.
“While many gains have been made, women are still largely under-represented in trucking-related careers,” she says.
“This challenge needs to be addressed as the trucking industry looks to ease an intensifying shortage of skilled workers.”
According to figures issued by SWIFT, only 3% of truck drivers, mechanics, transport trailer technicians, and cargo workers in Canada are women. Within the trucking industry, 11% percent of managers are women, 13% of parts technicians are women, 18% of dispatchers are women and 25% of freight claims/safety and loss prevention specialists are women.
Trucking HR Canada is the lead organization behind SWIFT, but a broad range of senior managers, directors, presidents and C-level executives are involved as committee members. Among the committee members is Kathy Penner, associate publisher of Truck News and Truck West magazines.
SWIFT’s inaugural meeting will be held in Toronto on April 11 during the Truck World trade show.