Women Behind the Wheel: New Report Details Why More Women Are Becoming Truck Drivers

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. -- The trucking industry has traditionally been a man's world, but a new report finds that is changing.

More and more women are getting in the driver's seat.

"I mean there's people who can drive and people who can't drive. Doesn't matter if you're male or female," said Jay Bamburg, a driver from Oklahoma.

A report in The Wall Street Journal found that since 2010, the number of female truckers nationwide has increased by 68%, in large part because of the equal pay for drivers and the nationwide shortage of truck drivers.

"There's always trying to push in the country today about how they want more equal opportunity for women, same rate of pay for jobs, so it's not surprising that you're gonna see a lot more of the female gender coming into this line of work," said Kory Kish of Hughestown.

Newswatch 16 contacted half a dozen trucking companies in northeastern Pennsylvania and all reported having female drivers.

Prime, Incorporated has a location near Pittston. A spokeswoman there said the company has a training program that has seen a significant increase in women. Nationwide, Prime has gone from about 8% female drivers to more than 13% in the last five years. Prime actually provides a program called Highway Diamonds to support female truckers.

"I did not know anything about this whole career, I started driving with my husband almost two years ago and I considered getting my license actually also and it's been an incredible experience," said Laurie St Denis of Maine.

Laurie St Denis said life on the road is more female-friendly than she thought it would be, from the facilities at truck stops to the camaraderie with men and women in the industry.

"It's a great job, it's good pay. There's like a community here with the truckers which I never knew about, it's just so kind of friendly with each other," she said.

Despite the increase, women in the trucking industry still only make up about 7% of the workforce, but some said they think that number will be going up sometime soon.

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