Briefly: New study says women reign over trucking HR departments

Updated Aug 15, 2023
WIT Index collage
Women In Trucking

A new study found that the trucking industry's human resources departments are largely overseen and staffed by women. 

According to new data from the 2023 WIT Index, which recently was released by the Women In Trucking Association, an average 74.6% of human resources and talent management roles in transportation companies are held by women. In addition, the 2023 WIT Index finds that almost half -- 48.6% -- of respondents report 50% to 89% of professionals in their company’s HR/talent management positions are women.

The WIT Index is an industry barometer that measures each year the percentage of women who make up critical roles in commercial freight transportation.

Traditionally, the HR profession has been long perceived as a female-oriented profession, primarily because of the skill sets requirement in the field, according to Jennifer Hedrick, WIT’s president and CEO.

“Women are commonly considered to have a strong Emotional Intelligence (EI) score,” Hedrick said, “and in general tend to possess the critical skills required for this discipline, such as multitasking, leadership, planning, communication, and human relations.” 

Initiated in 2016, the WIT Index is based on reported statistics by companies in transportation, including for-hire trucking companies, private fleets, transportation intermediaries, railroads, ocean carriers, equipment manufacturers, and technology companies. Data involving the 2023 WIT Index was confidentially gathered from January through April of 2023 from 350 participating companies of various sizes operating in the trucking industry. Percentages are reported only as aggregate totals of respondents rather than by individual companies. 

Along with its traditional benchmark percentages among HR/talent management, leadership, and professional drivers in commercial freight transportation, WIT again this year has expanded its collection on the percentage of women to include operations, technicians, sales, and marketing.

Estes recognized by two publications

Richmond, Virginia-based Estes has been named to both Forbes’ Best Employers for Women 2023 ranking and Inbound Logistics’ 75 Green Supply Chain Partners list.

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Forbes’ annual list is determined by an independent survey from a sample of more than 60,000 U.S. employees working for companies employing at least 1,000 people within the United States. The sample included more than 40,000 women. This is the second consecutive year Estes has been named to this list. 

“Estes recognizes the need for more women in the transportation industry to lend their talents, expertise and perspectives to advance the work in supporting our nation’s supply chain,” said Sara Graf, Vice President of Sustainability, Culture and Communications, Estes. “Making Forbes’ Best Employers for Women for another year is a testament to Estes’ continued commitment in this area and how that is recognized and valued by our staff.”

Surveying companies in the supply chain and logistics industry, Inbound Logistics’ G75 list recognizes the top 75 organizations with the most impactful and innovative sustainability practices and initiatives. This is the fourth consecutive year Estes has been included in the G75 list.

This year, Estes is the only LTL provider to participate in a pilot program to implement a groundbreaking new carbon capture device, which when retrofitted to the tailpipe of a semi-truck, can capture up to 80% of the vehicle’s total carbon emissions. Additionally, Estes continues to expand its fleet of alternative fuel vehicles and electric forklifts, further invest in solar energy as a nonpolluting, renewable resource, and reduce its emissions by using newer, more efficient equipment and route optimization technology.

“Investing in and implementing sustainable solutions isn’t just good for the environment, these efforts minimize costs, attract talent, and make our operations more resilient,” said Graf. “At all levels, we are focused on managing our operations responsibly now and for the future to take good care of our people, customers, communities, and the environment.”


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