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Women Allege They Cannot Get Hired As Truckers

Three women filed a complaint of discrimination against trucking company Stevens Transport with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. They claim the company will not hire them as truck drivers because it lacks experienced female drivers to train them. The women allege Stevens Transport requires members of the same sex to train its new drivers.

Ashli Streeter told the New York Times that she borrowed $7,000 to attend a truck driving school. She wanted to qualify for the higher-paying job of driving trucks. However, Streeter alleges that Stevens told her it would not hire her without a female driver to train her. Fewer than 5% of truck drivers are women in the U.S. Many trucking companies instituted same-sex training policies to avoid claims of sexual harassment. Training requires hours on the roads, with the trainer and trainee sleeping in the same cab. Some trucking employers reduce this risk by putting the drivers up in hotel rooms during training. While the occupation is demanding, starting salaries begin at around $50,000 annually, increasing as drivers gain experience. It is one of the highest-paying positions for individuals without a college degree.

Steven Transport denies that it limits training to same-sex trainers. In 2014, a federal district court ruled that these same-sex policies were unlawful. Trucking companies have faced challenges hiring enough drivers to keep up with demand. The 2021 Infrastructure Act requires the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to set up an advisory board to support women pursuing trucking careers and identify practices that keep women out of the profession.