5 ways to support women in your workplace

Alero Okujagu

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace can help increase productivity, innovation, and employee retention, benefits that cannot be overstated in today’s business world.

Women are essential to diversity, but the trucking and logistics industry still falls short with just 15% of women in the workforce.

Trucking HR’s Top Fleet Employers Program recognizes and celebrates companies with innovative employment practices and policies, and several fleets have taken specific steps to improve their recruitment and retention of women.

In reviewing what these fleets have done to diversify and encourage inclusion in their workplace, here are five best practices that stand out.

Creating connections

By participating in industry events and creating formal and informal coaching and mentoring arrangements, Top Fleet Employers help women leverage networks that can lead to professional development opportunities in the industry. These initiatives include Trucking HR Canada’s Women with Drive event or partnering with Women Building Futures.

Targeted recruitment

Many of our Top Fleet Employers take a targeted approach to recruiting both men and women who want to work in a diverse environment. For instance, a hiring practice among many Top Fleet Employers is to ensure that job descriptions in recruiting ads are free of unconscious bias that may affect individuals applying for that role.

We also see recruitment targeted at community groups that focus on women, and customized onboarding processes. These efforts make women feel like they belong and not like they must adapt to fit into the workplace.

(Photo: iStock)

Flexible work arrangements

Ninety-seven per cent of our Top Fleet Employers offer benefits, policies, and flexible work arrangements to support their employees and their families.

Some examples are a policy that allows truck drivers decide when and where to shut down overnight; flexible start/stop times; being able to choose routes close to home; permission to have a family member in the cab; part-time work upon request; and separate facilities for women. Workplace flexibility fosters loyalty and a higher quality of life for the employee, which consequently benefits the employer.

Evaluate your training offerings

Top Fleet Employers are committed to offering training that supports a diverse and safe workforce. For example, they provide sensitivity training that addresses stereotypes and biases in the workplace.

In the case of female drivers, safety and security remain a very big concern. In response, many employers have programs that include training in anti-harassment and violence in the workplace – an area for which Trucking HR Canada has developed industry-specific training.

If you’ve got it, flaunt it

Top Fleet Employers with a good percentage of female employees in various roles portray this in their recruitment tools. Pictures of women can be seen in their public postings, websites, and other social media platforms.

There is much to be done in order to increase the number of women in trucking and logistics. However, our Top Fleet Employers are leaders and have embraced a culture that continually encourages and supports women in the industry.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, take a moment to consider how your organization is doing when it comes to recruiting and retaining women. If you need a place to start, visit THRC’s website for helpful resources.

Alero Okujagu

Alero Okujagu manages projects and programs including the Top Fleet Employer Program and other key initiatives for Trucking HR Canada.

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