Denmark’s 3F trade union, along with employers’ associations ATL and DTL-A, are seeking ways to attract more women to become HGV drivers. 3F believes women will represent 10% of Denmark’s driver pool by 2031.
If this figure was achieved, it would represent a 5-fold increase in the number of female lorry drivers in Denmark. As it stands, women make up 2% of the workforce.
In order to try and attract more women to the profession, a taskforce has been set up with a view towards making the following seven targets a reality:
- Companies setting goals to get more women drivers.
- Showing that women are welcome and create a good company culture.
- Make a mentoring scheme in the company for women.
- Offer flexible working hours.
- Provide work clothes for both sexes and secure changing rooms.
- Focus on health, exercise and diet in the workplace.
- Invite local school classes to visit transport companies to learn about trucking.
Lars William Wesch, director of Transportens Arbejdsgivere at ATL, says that many women are put off by the “myth” that trucking is too physically demanding. He also sees the potential for women to alleviate the exacerbation of the driver shortage problem.
Many people still think that it is a physically demanding job to be a truck driver. The truth is that technological developments have brought many aids that allow women to participate. We are looking into a future where we will be short of drivers in Denmark. Therefore, it is crucial to increase the supply of labour to the industry. Furthermore, we know that increased gender diversity is beneficial for both the bottom line and the work climate. That is why it is important to take action now. The first step is to make companies aware of the barriers to recruiting women.
Meanwhile, Kim René Busch, negotiation secretary for the 3F’ Transport Union, believes that everyone needs to play a role in increasing diversity in the sector:
We only achieve that goal if the entire industry works purposefully with new initiatives and a focus on culture. As there is a large predominance of men in the freight transport industry, it is important that men also wholeheartedly take on the task of increasing diversity. Recruiting women should not only be a female issue. It’s everyone’s responsibility.