Like many other industries, the transportation industry presents challenging and rewarding career opportunities for women. But women in transportation remain underrepresented – with only about 22% of the workforce – and it’s time to shift this to a better balance.
When the Covid-19 pandemic first swept the United States in 2020, it wiped out millions of jobs, particularly among women. As they were laid off from their jobs, they suddenly found themselves back home and coordinating everything from taking care of their elderly parents to overseeing their children’s home-school activities.
Several sectors and industries have made great strides to bring back many of these jobs a year later. But industries that traditionally offer large job pools for women, such as tourism, catering, and hospitality, were particularly hit hard by the pandemic.
After the worst of the pandemic, many women have started to look for new job opportunities or advance their careers. They might find excellent opportunities in the transportation sector, whose jobs are traditionally and predominantly filled by men. The industry looks vastly different now compared to only a few years ago.
In school bus transportation, drivers are an essential part of the school district because they are responsible for transporting children to and from school safely. Just seeing a female driver inside the school bus is enough for the kids to feel safe and assured that there’s a “mother figure” behind the wheel.
Women have become more than just accepted in the school bus transportation operations – they have also become familiar figures. According to Zippia.com, 53.3% of all school bus drivers are women, compared to 42.7% male school bus drivers. In terms of salary, there seems to be a virtual closing of the gender pay gap. In 2021, women school bus drivers earned 100% of what men bus drivers earned.
Seeing these figures, women in the school transportation sector fare relatively better. While more and more women are becoming school bus drivers, there’s still room for improvement. But the good news is that several initiatives promote and encourage women’s attraction and retention in the transportation sector. These initiatives include connecting with young women by networking and encouraging professional bodies and organizations to provide women with leadership positions. One main reason there aren’t more women in this sector is the lack of female mentors. Another factor is knowing if driving a school bus will offset daycare costs.
In recent years, there have been more women becoming transport coordinators, directors, and supervisors. There has been an increase in females in the transportation sector, but women in transportation know that they still have a long way to go. Tackling glass ceilings and the differences that gender discrimination brings is necessary to bring a change in the future. If you would like to see what jobs are available for women as school bus drivers, check out the listings at https://schoolbushero.com/jobs.