It may come as a surprise to some that the Department of Transport is headed up by a female, in Justine Greening. However, when you look at the latest employment figures released by the Freight Logistics Industry Image Group for the haulage and transport sector, it shouldn’t come as that much of a shock, at all.
Right throughout the sector women are holding positions all along the chain. From the sharp end as drivers and engineers to internal positions as transport controllers, office workers and managers, the fairer sex are now employed in a quarter of all posts.
The prominence has caused many insurance companies to reconsider their commercial vehicle policy when it comes to offering cheap van insurance for women. It has been highly publicised in recent times how much safer women drivers are domestically due to the shorter distances they tend to drive compared to their male counterparts. This is one of the main contributory factors to lower car insurance premiums but, as the playing field is levelled when it comes to driving commercially as a delivery run will not change its destination just because it is a woman driving, the gap may not be so dramatic. That difference, it is worth noting, may be negated altogether if the woman in question is driving for a large corporation and her sexuality is swallowed up as part of a larger fleet insurance policy.
This proportion of female employees has grown rapidly in recent times in an industry that has historically been the domain of the male. Of the 2.2 million workers now employed in the UK in the industry, women hold many of the high-ranked posts overlooking operations and the regulations of the standards set within the sector.
F.L.I.I. Group chairman Geoff Dossetter recently acknowledged the essential contribution women have made over the years, often as the unsung heroes of the industry. On the back of yet another report, this one highlighting how much more understanding female bosses can be when it comes to appreciating the work/life balance, Geoff went on to add, “It will be very interesting to see what sort of impact this hugely important and influential group of managers and administrators will have on the future operation and performance of logistics.”
If they have the same success in management as their compatriats in the domestic market have been in bringing down the cost of car insurance, it could be good news for commercial drivers everywhere.