Diversity in trucking: Are you in line with recent industry trends?

July 29, 2021 Christina DeBusk

Multi-ethnic workers at trucking facility

Diversity and inclusion have both been top-of-mind topics in recent years. In many cases, they have been discussed in the context of what is needed for legal and social reform, creating a more just and equitable existence for everyone regardless of race, age, gender, sexual orientation and more.

Yet, these concepts are also often front and center when it comes to employment.

Knowing what these trends look like both outside and within the trucking industry can help you better identify where your company lies with regard to this important topic; whether you’re in line with what other trucking companies are doing to increase their diversity or if your transportation department needs a bit of an overhaul.

This information can also be used to help you create a plan to better promote diversity within your company, attracting a more varied workforce and enjoying the benefits that come with this approach.

Diversity trends outside & inside the trucking industry

In May 2020, McKinsey & Company released its Diversity Wins report. In the report, this management consulting firm states that “the business case for gender and ethnic diversity in top teams is stronger than ever.”

Specifically, it cites how more diverse companies outperform their peers in terms of profitability, with COVID-19 likely deepening these trends by allowing companies to bounce back from the virus more quickly.

It also states that being more diverse further strengthens a company’s health, performance and reputation in the marketplace. Some of the data it reports includes:

  • Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than those in the bottom quartile
  • Companies in the top quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity have 36% greater profitability than companies in the lowest quartile
  • Companies with executive teams that are at least 30% women outperform companies with fewer than this amount, creating a 48% difference in performance between the two
  • Companies with low ethnic and cultural diversity are also outperformed by their more diverse counterparts

Convoy’s 2020 Sustainability Snapshot Report took an even closer look at diversity within the trucking industry specifically. Out of the carriers it surveyed, 64% said that their majority owner or owners are members of a diverse group.

It further adds that minority truck drivers have increased from 26.6% in 2013 to 40.4% in 2018, representing a growth of 13.8%, with the number of female drivers growing 2% over the last 20 years.

This data suggests not only how important diversity is when it comes to company profitability and performance, but also that more companies are recognizing its value. This makes promoting diversity within your transportation department critical for building and growth.

How to promote diversity in your transportation department

One way to promote a greater level of diversity within your transportation business or department is to create an environment of inclusion and acceptance.

Create workplace rules naming the behaviors that will not be tolerated, such as bullying, harassing, or discriminating. Include this information in your employee handbook so each new hire is aware of these policies from day one.

Also hold regular training sessions centered around different ethnicities and cultures. This gives your employees a better understanding of and appreciation for individuals from backgrounds unlike their own. It also reduces potential incidents that may arise out of any misunderstandings.

You can also promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace by ensuring that each member of your team is treated the same. This includes equal pay, benefits, and treatment regardless of the person’s demographics.

Methods for attracting a diverse workforce

What can you do to make your transportation workforce more diverse, helping you get and stay in the top quartile of the trucking industry, thus potentially improving your profitability and performance? TalentLyft recommends:

  • Leveraging job boards or job search sites that specialize in a more diverse group of applicants
  • Offering internships, scholarships, and referral rewards for employees in underrepresented groups
  • Mentioning your strive for greater diversity and inclusiveness in your job postings, as well as on your company website
  • Incorporating diversity into your hiring process, such as by having a diverse interview panel

It can also be helpful to talk to current employees who fall into often underrepresented demographics and ask their opinion.

They may have a few ideas for attracting a more diverse workforce based on their experiences, making them an even more invaluable member of your team.

Want more hiring tips for the transportation industry? Check out our recruitment content library here.

About the Author

Christina M. DeBusk creates small business content for a variety of publications, some of which include Businessing Magazine, Compendent, Chiropractic Economics, and more. She is also the author behind the column, "The Successful Solopreneur.

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