By Frank Gambino and Matthew Meeks
It was the tail-end of June, in 1969, on the brick-lined streets of New York’s West Village…A community of LGBT+ Americans and allies stood up for their rights and began an equality movement we now refer to as Pride…
June (Pride Month) may be over, but the importance of diversity and human rights remains.
It’s been over 50 years since that day in New York, and since then LGBT+ diversity has become more widely accepted and recognized; being represented in mainstream stores, by organizations, and media…
Though there has been a great deal of progress, there are still certain industries that some say have a long way to go – Trucking being one of them.
Trucking has historically received a bad reputation when it comes to diversity. According to an article from NPR, when asked about how people can attract new drivers, it was stated that:
“…while companies may be more welcoming of women, some minority groups, and LGBT drivers, certain aspects of the trucking industry are still not up to par.”
Our team decided to dig deeper into this, taking to LinkedIn to poll industry professionals in trucking, logistics, and freight.
Forty-four percent of those surveyed said they did not feel diversity is supported in trucking (based on a sample of 479 votes). Additionally, many comments reflected how the industry was in such need that most companies will do, “anything to fill those seats” – but herein lies the issue…There are differences between accepting/tolerating diversity…and supporting diversity. Data suggests that at a macro-demographic level the transportation industry still has a lot of room for improvement to attract a more inclusive workforce.
According to Zippia, the transportation industry consists of:
- 3% LBGT+
- 91% Male | 9% Female
- 61.3% Caucasian | 18.1% Hispanic/Latino | 13.0% African American | 3.1% Asian
- Average Age: 48
So, what’s next…?
The answer may be as simple as…listening.
Encourage colleagues and others to foster an environment that supports both LGBT truckers and other minority groups.
Acknowledge the importance of diversity and how people from all walks of life are needed for this industry to thrive.
Remember that equality and inclusiveness remain just as important year-round as they do during federally recognized days/months.
All businesses within the supply chain can participate in “EAR” by making it a priority to ensure that all employees feel accepted, safe, and supported in their roles (whether it be behind a desk or behind the wheel).
Pride month may be over…but deciding to maintain a diverse workforce never has to be.