Source: wolfenden \tThere has been a gradual increase in women becoming HGV drivers in the UK \tRecent data has revealed only 2% of the UK HGV driver workforce is female however Driver Hire Training are encouraging more women to join the industry In recent years there has been an increase in women looking to become HGV drivers. In 2011/12, just 6.7% of all HGV test passes were achieved by women; by 2021/22 this had increased to 9.7%. However, there’s still a long way to go and, with 45% of HGV drivers in the UK due to reach retirement age in the next 10 years, there are plenty of opportunities for more female drivers to join the industry. Driver Hire Training want to encourage diversity and opportunities for drivers from all backgrounds through HGV training. Historically, HGV driving has been viewed by some as a masculine profession and women have been less inclined to apply. Kirsten, a driver from Driver Hire agrees, “I’ve always loved driving big vehicles, but because you never saw any lady truck drivers, I didn’t think it was possible. Then, one day, a young lassie delivered some goods to my house. We had a chat and that got me thinking that there was a very real opportunity to drive for a living.” In 2016, The Road Haulage Association launched their She’s RHA scheme which aimed to champion and support the challenges women face in the HGV industry. It encourages women to look past gender stereotypes and take advantage of the skills they have that could give them a successful driving career. There are numerous benefits to a career in driving HGVs, from having the freedom to enjoy life outside of work, to being able to choosing shifts that work for you in specific locations. Debbie Corbitt, a current HGV driver for Driver Hire goes on to say, “Looking back, it’s funny, but I’d no qualms about entering a male dominated industry. I’ve had the odd comment, but the vast majority don’t even think about it. Most importantly agency work means I can take what I want when I want.” She goes on to say “Early starts mean early finishes, so I can get down to the stables to be with the horses. Everyone talks about this work/life balance thing – agency work gives me a good one.” Richard Owen-Hughes, Group Marketing Director for Driver Hire, says “It’s so great to see a workforce that has been so heavily male dominated, starting to become more diversified and open for anyone to have a successful career. There’s a long way to go still, but we hope to see the progress towards a more diverse workforce – in every way – continue in the future.” For those interested in reading more about the benefits for female HGV drivers, Driver Hire Training have created an in depth guide, women behind the wheel.