More women truckers get behind the wheel during driver shortage
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The nationwide shortage of truck drivers is luring more women to drive big rigs.
Long haul trucking is declining each year, but more programs are helping women get into what was once a male dominated field.
“We belong in this business,” said trucker Tiffany Hathorn. “Don’t let anyone deter you or convince you otherwise.”
Hathorn began a career driving semis a year ago. She is one of a growing number of woman entering the male dominated industry. After attending DSC Training Academy, the 37-year-old began working behind the wheel of a big rig one week after graduation.
“You’ll find that there are some men who are territorial about this business and so, you know, they might try to intimidate you, but as women you just have to stand your ground and let them know I’m a professional,” added Hathorn. “I’m here just like you to earn money for my family, trying to move to the next level.”
The Jackson mother of two sons was the only woman in her class, but the lucrative career made her get past her nervousness. She’s seeing more women drivers of all ages and ethnicities.
DSC Training Academy President and CEO Willie Jones said the first quarter saw three times as many women enrolled in the program.
“One of the top solutions to helping with that demand is to hire more women and so that’s good news for women,” said Jones. “So what we have been doing for the last couple of years is pushing information out there to women to help them understand the opportunities that are available in trucking.”
Most training programs offer financial assistance, leading to careers with health care benefits and the financial freedom to transform their lives.
“There is no glass ceiling in the trucking industry,” added Jones.
Upon graduation from the four week program, drivers can earn $50,000 - $70,000 in the first year.
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