Opportunities for Women in the Trucking Industry

December 8, 2022
Greg Crumpton

 
While women comprise nearly half of Canada’s workforce (47%), only three percent of
women make up the number of Canadian truck drivers. While the number of women
getting their commercial driver’s licenses has increased since 2010, there is a long way
to go to realize the potential of women in the trucking industry.

The Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada is one organization working to make a
difference. This non-profit organization strives to encourage women’s employment in
the trucking industry, supports women’s advancement in the industry, and minimizes the
obstacles that might prevent their success.

Meet Shelley Walker, CEO of the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada. A longtime
driver herself, Walker’s commitment to making women a prominent part of the trucking
industry couldn’t come at a better time. Estimates indicate Canada will be short 25,000
truck drivers by 2023. Unfilled jobs in 2018 cost the trucking industry an estimated $3.1
billion in lost revenues.

Straight Outta Crumpton’s Greg Crumpton, accompanied by Tyler Kern, spoke with Shelley Walker
to shed light on the truck worker situation in Canada and how her organization
makes a difference for women in the trucking industry.

“The big part about us is we believe in working together,” Walker said. “Our slogan is: in
the office, under the hood, or behind the wheel, we’re all pieces of the puzzle. I firmly
believe that for our industry to continue to grow and attract young people into our
industry, we need to fix all the problems we have internally. It’s time for a change.”

Crumpton, Kern, and Walker’s conversation include:

The state of the trucking industry for women, minorities, and the LGBTQ+
community

The need for equity and inclusion in a predominantly white/male-dominated
industry

The lack of young people entering the trucking field

Why Walker founded the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada

“There wasn’t enough supporter network working for women in this industry,” Walker
said. And I found that to be it didn’t matter where I went. This was an original idea by a
friend of mine, and I continued forward with this organization and started it. I built it on
networking, and I like to think outside the box. I don’t just network with women in the
trucking sector.”

Shelley Walker is a trailblazer. As CEO of the non-profit Women’s Trucking Federation
of Canada, her mission is to bridge barriers, empower women, and provide a positive
platform for education, mentorship, networking, and development within the trucking
and transportation industry. Walker has more than seventeen years of experience
supporting the transportation/trucking/railroad industry as a reputable and respected
leader, spokesperson, keynote, and professional driver. Walker was inducted into the
PMTC Hall of Fame for Professional Drivers in 2020 and awarded the 2020 Woman of
Inspiration™ Rural Leader Award.

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