In a survey conducted with 440 small and mid-sized carriers from 2020, 64% of respondents reported that at least one of their majority owners was a member of a diverse group.
Despite the diversity among company owners, the industry has long struggled to attract truck drivers from diverse backgrounds.
Fortunately there are groups working to solve this problem. Here are 5 organizations working to make trucking more inclusive:
- The Women In Trucking Association
- Minority Professional Truckers Association
- The Next Generation in Trucking Association
- LGBT Truckers
- Veterans In Trucking
The Women In Trucking Association
“Bringing Gender Diversity to Transportation”
That is The Women In Trucking Association’s mission. They are a non-profit organization that encourages the employment of women in the trucking industry, promotes female accomplishments, and minimizes obstacles faced by women.
Only 6.6% of drivers identify as female, an increase of only 2% over the last two decades.
One of the largest obstacles that the WIT is addressing is driver training. In 2016 the courts ruled that same-gender-training practices were discriminatory and carriers could no longer use these practices.
The courts did not realize that driver trainers and trainees are often sleeping in close quarters which can place the two drivers in compromising situations.
This obstacle is one example of countless challenges that are unique to female drivers.
Minority Professional Truckers Association
MPTA (Minority Professional Truckers Association) was founded by Teresa Watson, owner of TRJ Transportation.
Teresa founded this association to serve those who are underserved.
“While we may see many different faces within the industry, those faces are lacking representation, fairness in protocols, lack of opportunity to excel, and in need of training and development.”Teresa Watson, Founder of MPTA
In addition to providing opportunities for drivers, MPTA also tries to show people the otherside of trucking. They work with people who are currently drivers and help them find opportunities in management or dispatching.
Finally, if you are a carrier that joins this association, the MPTA works with you to provide access to the same large and long term contracts offered by Fortune 500 Corporations.
The MPTA takes a fully encompassing approach when it comes to boosting the careers of minorities in the different career paths of the trucking industry.
The Next Generation in Trucking Association
For trucking to be more inclusive the industry needs to be accessible for anyone who wants to be involved. This includes future generations that are not yet old enough to drive a truck.
Next Gen Trucking is reaching out to these young people and making sure that they have access despite their young age.
They partner with high schools, community/technical colleges and private schools to launch training programs around the country.
One of Next Gen’s greatest success stories is of a high school student who was struggling to pass his classes and getting into trouble.
At the start of his senior year Next Gen placed the student into the CDL program and now the student is a truck driver. Because of Next Gen Trucking, this student now has a fulfilling career opposed to being a high school drop out.
LGBT Truckers is a new association that is working on building an inclusive community for LGBT truck drivers.
Because this group is so new their site is still being built. Check out their Facebook Page here.
The LGBTQ+ community has a long history in the trucking industry, but their voices have rarely been heard.
It was not until recently when books like Semi Queer: Inside the World of Gay, Trans, and Black Truck Drivers were released that gay stories were being told.
LGBT Truckers is not only working to create an inclusive community but also provide a platform that amplifies the voices of queer drivers.
Veterans In Trucking
Soldiers who serve overseas have long struggled to get reacclimated to civilian life.
Fortunately, there are organizations that exist to help our veterans find fulfilling careers after they return from deployment. Veterans In Trucking does exactly that but in the trucking industry.
Many veterans transition into a career behind the wheel because they obtain their CDL while serving. In addition to helping veterans find jobs, Veterans In Trucking can help your company learn how to accommodate the unique needs of soldiers.
In 2020, the overall veteran unemployment rate was 6.5%, which was lower than the national rate of 8%. Organizations like Veterans In Trucking are doing an excellent job at assisting our nation’s heroes.
Inclusivity is essential for the evolution of the trucking industry. As trucking becomes more inclusive, the more success we will experience. Research each of these 5 organizations, plus the others, and learn how your company can get involved!