New Study Finds Women Are Happier In Their Driving Career Than Men, But Let’s Be Careful Here
Little Rock, Arkansas – Are women happier with their trucking careers than their male counterparts? A new study by Stay Metrics, a provider of evidence-based driver feedback, engagement, training, and retention solutions for the transportation industry, says “yes.”
It’s no secret trucking companies have been wrestling with the lack of availability of willing CDL holders to transport their freight. It’s also no secret that the industry has been attempting to woo more women into a truck driving career path in the hopes of tapping into a previously uncultivated demographic in the labor market.
Transportation Nation Network has recently published two very eye-opening reports about this very topic (The Changing Face Of The Trucking Industry and A Pink Wave Comes To Trucking) and would highly suggest you check them out.
THE STUDY: Are Women Happier In Their Truck Driving Career Than Men?
In the newly released Stay Metrics study, researchers assessed driver opinions and satisfaction levels on a wide range of areas that most closely correlated with driver retention and satisfaction. Stay Metrics administered an in-depth standardized Annual Driver Satisfaction Survey to drivers on behalf of its motor carrier clients.
“Our new research explains why women drivers are more likely to stay with their carriers.” – Tim Hindes, co-founder and chief executive officer of Stay Metrics
Stay Metrics then analyzed the responses from nearly 16,000 drivers who completed the survey in the past year. The study found key differences between male and female drivers’ responses.
First was in the area of job satisfaction. Female drivers tend to be more satisfied in most areas with their carriers. Women feel less bored by their work. They also feel more fairly compensated and satisfied with their home time, the study found.
Second, the study revealed differences in how the genders deal with considering changing employers. Female drivers scored significantly higher in the area of Pre-Turnover Thoughts, which indicates they are less likely to be thinking of leaving their present carriers than male drivers.
“Our new research explains why women drivers are more likely to stay with their carriers. To preserve this retention advantage, carriers should use a survey and feedback system that gives their drivers a safe and secure platform to anonymously share their feelings, opinions, and concerns to make sure they are addressed,” said Tim Hindes, co-founder and chief executive officer of Stay Metrics.
“Ten years ago carriers often claimed they didn’t care about the gender (race, age) of the driver. Now we’re learning more about why we should focus on bringing more women into the industry, not just to fill seats, but to fill them with capable and well-trained drivers.” – Ellen Voie, president CEO of the Women In Trucking Association
Ellen Voie, president and CEO of the Women In Trucking Association, weighed in on the study’s findings and points to data like this for why carriers should be doing even more to attract women into career in trucking. “Ten years ago carriers often claimed they didn’t care about the gender (race, age) of the driver. Now we’re learning more about why we should focus on bringing more women into the industry, not just to fill seats, but to fill them with capable and well-trained drivers,” Voie remarked.
She continued, “We value the research Stay Metrics has done to better understand how to attract and retain female drivers, and are thrilled to learn that women behind the wheel are often happier with their carriers and less likely to leave, which translates to lower turnover and a more valuable relationship.”
ANALYSIS: We Are Walking A Fine Line, So Let’s Be Careful Here
Citing this new Stay Metrics study, Ms. Voie’s remarks seem to be suggesting trucking companies would be well-served to seek out women more aggressively than men. If it is true that “women behind the wheel are often happier with their carriers and less likely to leave” than men, as she asserts, then carriers would be unwise not to prefer a female driver recruit over a male recruit. Why? Because doing so will result in more favorable outcomes like “lower turnover and a more valuable relationship.” We don’t think Ms. Voie is suggesting carriers violate Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) labor laws, but her comments seem to be walking a fine line.
For example, imagine a published study showed men were “happier” and “less likely to have thoughts of leaving their employer” in the historically female-dominated nursing industry. Would it then be acceptable to argue, on the basis of the study, that nursing employers should more aggressively pursue providing opportunities to men, in some cases, at the expense of women?
Of course, discriminating against a potential applicant based on gender, race, age, religion etc. is forbidden by U.S. labor law. So, though studies like this one are helpful in better understanding the dynamic and trends in the driver pool, they can be tricky for businesses to glean any lawfully actionable hiring practices from.
In fact, it’s always ill-advised to draw distinctions, whether positive or negative, based on factors like race and gender when discussing issues of employment. The marketplace should not see an applicant as a woman or a man; or as white or black. The marketplace should evaluate applicants based on qualifications and merit to accomplish the job. After all, the law requires no less.
Get Your Copy Of The Stay Metrics Report
To receive a copy of the full research report, “When it Comes to Driver Satisfaction and Turnover Intent, Is There a Gender Difference?” visit https://www.staymetrics.com and click “Get our latest research.”
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