Women in Trucking Australia to deliver ‘Foot in the Door’ program to improve heavy vehicle safety
Women in Trucking Australia (WiTA) has announced that its ‘Foot in the Door’ program will receive crucial funding from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI), supported by the Federal Government.
WiTA CEO Lyndal Denny says the collaborative pilot project – set to be launched early 2023 – will support inexperienced female heavy vehicle drivers into trucking careers nationally.
According to Denny, female heavy vehicle driver participation sits at just 1.6 per cent of the total cohort, leaving women as one of the most underutilised industry resources.
“WiTA regularly fields calls from self-funded, inexperienced female truck drivers earning a living in other sectors, women who’ve been unable to get a foot in the door of their chosen career,” she says.
“Gender bias continues to have a significant negative impact on their job search efforts – a reality supported by countless stories of women being overlooked at recruitment in favour of male applicants.
“The Foot in the Door project marks the beginning of a critical course correction.” Denny says.
Program architect, WiTA board director and veteran MC driver Fiona Armstrong says WiTA recognises the critical importance of peer support – putting experienced driver heads on new driver shoulders.
“Ongoing leadership and mentoring is just as important as training;” Armstrong says. “Our passion for the road will always come second to our passion to get home.”
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto says WiTA is one of 15 grantees that will receive funding as part of the Federal Government’s $3.5 million investment towards HVSI projects.
“As part of the HVSI, industry will be driving its own safety initiatives to contribute to safer roads, drivers, and vehicles.
“Round 7 projects include practical resources to assist industry with load restraint and mass compliance, advanced driver training, and crash prevention technology,” Petroccitto says.
“I am excited to see how WiTA’s project will make an impact, to deliver improved safety outcomes for all road users.”