Women Shifting Gears
The Saskatchewan Trucking Association, in partnership with the YWCA Saskatoon and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Immigration and Career Training, launched the Women Shifting Gears Program in 2020.
About the Program
Saskatchewan has always been a hub for the trucking industry, playing a vital role in our daily lives. With 26,250 km of highways crisscrossing our landlocked province, trucks are the lifeblood of imports, exports, and numerous job opportunities. They transport a wide range of products, from agricultural goods to everyday essentials like food, clothing, and electronics.
Despite growing numbers of successful women entering the industry, Canada's transport truck driver workforce is predominantly male, with only 4.0% being female. Recognizing this disparity, the Saskatchewan Trucking Association, in collaboration with the YWCA of Saskatoon and the Ministry of Immigration and Career Training, developed Women Shifting Gears. After nearly a year of initial planning, the program was launched in 2020. Today, the program has seen three cohorts of students complete the program, with the latest cohort beginning in October of 2023.
Attracting More Women
Certain professions appeal to more individuals of a particular gender than others. Notably, however, these trends often stem from entrenched stereotypes regarding which industries and roles are deemed more suitable for men or women, rather than reflecting genuine differences in knowledge, skills, or career preferences.
Across all roles within the truck transport industry, only 14% of the total workforce identify as female. Additionally, women within the industry are typically engaged in various front-line roles, including administration (87%), dispatch (52%), and shipping and receiving (22%). At the same time, only 16% of the sector's upper management and supervisory roles are held by women. This underrepresentation in leadership positions contributes to the industry's challenges in recruiting and retaining women.