The big debate: women in the fleet industry

Better facilities, more flexible working hours, a more proactive recruitment drive from industry bodies, more formalised qualifications….  how do we attract more women into the transport industry?

Why are only 1 per cent of the UK’s HGV drivers and only 30 per cent of senior fleet managers women?  Is the whole industry missing a serious trick, particularly in light on ongoing driver shortages?

In the second of our industry ‘Big Debates’, we asked four leading figures in the fleet industry for their thoughts on the key issues.

There are over 16 million drivers in the UK are women but only 1 per cent are HGV drivers. Why do you think this is the case?

Julie Maddocks, Head of Media Relations at the Freight Transport Association calls for more flexible working hours to encourage more women into the industry and thinks that raising the profile of the sector in general will help, while fleet and logistics journalist Sharon Clancy blames poor facilities and safety concerns caused by overnight distribution patterns.

70 per cent of those working in senior roles in fleet management are men. What can be done to redress the balance?

Julie Madoui, Head of Fleet at Skanska UK Plc shares her own personal experience of being the only woman in the room but also highlights how interesting and rewarding a career in fleet is.  Both she and Sharon Clancy call for a more formalised qualification structure and a more proactive approach from industry bodies to create stronger defined career paths for women in the industry.

An RHA spokesperson has said women have “excellent spatial awareness”, do you agree? Do you think women drivers would reduce fuel and maintenance costs through better driving behaviour?

Alison Moriarty, Fleet Risk and Compliance Manager at Skanska UK Plc  points to insurance data which shows that women have less accidents on the road while the FTA’s Julie Maddocks thinks women drivers are more conscientious and show more consideration for other drivers than their male counterparts.

What are your thoughts? Should more be done to encourage more women into the UK fleet industry? Join the debate by adding a comment below.

Find out what Tracy Jesson, Business Manager at ABP Club thinks on the issue – read guest blog.

For free advice, useful tips and tricks and other documentation on pressing industry issues, visit the Webfleet resource centre.

Watch videos from our first ‘Big Debate’ on van regulation – read blog.

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