Women in Trucking

Reflecting on Women’s History Month – Progress in Trucking and Technology

Each March, in honor of Women’s History Month, organizations and individuals across the United States celebrate the contributions and recognize the achievements of women in the world at large, as well as in business. Studies show organizations that embrace ethnic, cultural, and gender diversity on their executive teams were more likely to experience above-average profitability and out-perform less diverse organizations.

At Procede Software, where more than half of our leadership team is as female, we firmly believe our commitment to diversity and inclusion at every level is a key factor in our success. In honor of Women’s History Month, we decided to mark the occasion by looking at the advancements being made in the two industries that we are a part of—trucking and technology.

Women in Trucking: Making Strides
The Women in Trucking Association is a nonprofit organization aimed at encouraging the employment of women in the trucking industry, addressing the obstacles they face, and celebrating their accomplishments. Sharon Covitt, Procede Software’s Vice President of Implementation, explains the value and impact of the organization, saying, “The trucking industry is a vital part of our nation’s supply chain, and it is critical to its long-term health that women’s voices are heard and that they achieve parity in representation. The Women in Trucking Association plays an important role in moving the industry forward, and I have tremendous respect for the work they do.”

As part of their ongoing efforts, the organization publishes the Women in Trucking Index, a gender diversity benchmarking report that indicates the number of women in various industry roles. As of 2019, the last year for which data is available, women made up more than 10% of over-the-road truck drivers. This significant increase of almost 30% over the previous year reflects an industry-wide effort to close a shortfall of drivers by attracting more women to the profession. Women are gaining ground in other industry roles, as well. The report indicates more than 32% of executives across all market segments surveyed are women, and more than 43% of non-managerial roles are filled by women.

In yet another milestone for women in the industry, 2022 also marks the first year the American Trucking Association (ATD) has honored a woman with its prestigious Truck Dealer of the Year Award, which recognizes dealership principals for business performance, industry leadership, and civic contributions. This year’s honoree is Kari Rihm, President and CEO of Rihm Family Companies and Dealer Principal of Rihm Kenworth in MN.  Rihm is a strong advocate for diversity, equality, and inclusion and has also been honored by the Women in Trucking Association with the Top Woman-Owned Business and Best Company for Women to Work for in Transportation awards.

Women in Technology: Steady Progress
On the technology front, women continue to make slow but steady gains in workforce representation as well, particularly in larger organizations with greater ability to attract and retain them. Deloitte Insights anticipates that large, global technology firms will be able to achieve 33% overall female representation, and 25% female representation in technical roles in 2022. While these numbers are far from parity, they do reflect small, but substantive, gains of approximately 2% to 3% since 2019. These numbers are despite the fact that COVID drove a disproportionately large number of women to leave their jobs.

Doing Our Part to Bridge the Gap
While both the trucking and technology industries are making important gains, there is more work to be done before women achieve gender representation parity in the broader workforce, as well as in trucking and technology. Women- and family-friendly policies can help, including remote work policies, a transition that Procede made at the beginning of the pandemic. In addition, we have found that taking a proactive, intentional approach to developing a more diverse workforce has served us well. With a leadership team that is more than 50% female and the increasing diversity of our team across all areas of our business, we are well-positioned to continue to serve our customers and drive value by enhancing our products in the areas that have the greatest impact on their businesses.

This Women’s History Month, and every day, we offer our gratitude and respect for the contributions women have made to our world, this important industry, and our business.