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Why aren't there more female HGV drivers?

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Published on 14 July 2021

HGV drivers not only play a huge role in the economy, but also in the smooth functioning of our society as a whole.

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What was once known as a male-dominated sector, the driving industry has been pushing for more diversity and inclusivity in recent years and particularly at times of growing skill shortages, it is important for employers to attract a range of individuals. However, according to Logistics UK, only 1.2% of all UK drivers are female. So why aren’t more women choosing a career in driving and what can be done to attract female workers to this growing sector?

One of the largest problems facing the driving industry, when it comes to attracting more female workers, is the perception of the industry itself. It’s a common misconception that driving is a ‘man’s world’, where drivers need to be strong and robust, and where long hours mean inflexible working not conducive to family life.

At Berry Recruitment we are passionate about tackling these misconceptions and supporting our workers, regardless of their gender, in whatever career path they choose.

With this in mind, we take a look at some factors that could be influencing women in their decision to consider a driving career.

Breakthrough the stereotype:
There is a misconception in the driving industry that you need to be big, strong, and mechanically adept, but this is not the case. Thanks to power steering and automatic gears, hydraulic workings operated at the push of a button and the home from home comforts that are now available in the cabs, modern HGV’s do not live up to this misconception. HGV driving jobs are still challenging, but the physical exertion that was once required is a lot less.

Working flexibility:
Once known as long, unsociable hours, HGV drivers have quite a bit of flexibility towards their working hours – which makes balancing a social life and family life a lot easier. Standard working hours don’t exist in the HGV driving world, with hours changing monthly, weekly and even daily, however you do have a say in when and how you work in most companies.

Support from the Industry:
There have been a number of initiatives in recent years, designed to encourage women into the sector and offer support to those within it. The Road Haulage Association (RHA) launched 'She's RHA' in 2016. 'She’s RHA' is an initiative designed to address the acute shortage of women in road transport by providing a new, welcoming culture for the industry. 

Benefits of being an HGV driver:
The demand for logistics and transportation has been increasing over the years, and it’s not likely to stop. Once you’ve obtained an HGV/LGV licence, you open yourself up to many driving opportunities and logistics roles. There is lots of room for growth within the driving industry, with room to progress in your career. HGV/LGV driving offers variety and diversity, not to mention a good salary that only increases with experience.

Breaking the stereotype and getting more female drivers on the roads is essential to solving the HGV driver shortage, and recruitment needs to reflect this.

So are you thinking of a career in HGV driving?
Why not get in touch with one of our expert driving consultants?
Why aren't there more female HGV drivers?