WOMEN IN THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY
It’s no secret that, as it stands, the trucking industry is fairly male dominated. In fact, only 3% of truck drivers are female. To ensure the success of this industry, and to create healthy and positive work environments, it is crucial to increase the representation of women in all positions. Erb Transport is acutely aware of this issue, and is actively working to dispel the myth that trucking is a “male’s job”.
Sherri Gilbert, a truck driver at Erb, agreed without hesitation to discuss her experience being a woman in this field. She agrees that it’s time to change the narrative surrounding women and truck driving; and show the public that it can and should be done.
Sherri is a straight truck driver at our Baden terminal, and has been at Erb Transport since November 2017. Prior to driving at Erb, she had spent the last 16 years working in a factory. Sherri explained that the choice to transition into truck driving was exactly what she had needed. As a single mother of two, Sherri had done her fair share of driving. She loved driving her children places, and eventually decided to turn that into her career.
Sherri experienced a few roadblocks while studying to be a driver, but always managed to find a way around them. She explained that studying while working full time was a difficult, yet rewarding, choice. When Sherri finally received her education and started her career at Erb she, justifiably, admitted feeling a little intimidated. The trucks are much larger than the average vehicle, and again, many of the drivers are male. Today, Sherri feels fully supported and valued in her position. “The guys are great. They give me advice and I give them advice. It’s two way.” Overcoming that initial fear and uneasiness about driving such a large vehicle made room for her to discover the endless benefits of truck driving.
On occasion, Sherri has even leveraged Erb Transport’s Passenger Policy and has brought female friends on a few rides. She would love to introduce other women to this industry, and start to close the gap between male and female employees. It is so important for women in this industry to support each other, and we are so proud to know that Sherri truly demonstrates this while she’s on the road.
Sherri admits to having seen a lot of shock, almost disbelief, when other truck drivers or dock workers open their doors to see a woman driver. “Sometimes I really do like the look on their face when they see me, a woman. It’s kind of funny,” Sherri remarked. Overall, she feels sincerely comfortable and self-assured in her position. She’s well-trained, confident, and has a great workplace support system. She couldn’t see herself doing anything else.
Erb Transport understands the need for diversity in all aspects of the workplace. Diversity in gender, age, ethnicity, and more is crucial for a healthy and well-rounded environment. Diversity encourages different ideas, fosters collaboration, and brings different perspectives to the table. Fostering a more inclusive and diverse workplace is attainable, and we are committed to this reaching this goal as we move forward.