FRANKLIN, Wis. — Most professional truck drivers are men. In our Two Americas report, we show you why more women are getting behind the wheel of a big rig.
"As a woman I knew the spotlight would be on me - a woman in a man’s dominated field," said Kierra Hamilton, mother of four.
Women represent only about 7.8 percent of truck drivers nationwide, according to the 2020 U.S. Department of Labor Statistics.
Hamilton worked hard to get her commercial driver's license and become a front-end load commercial driver for Waste Management in Franklin.
"The hours are there. The benefits are there. The pay is there. Just the job stability is there," said Hamilton.
A crucial upside of this business is that women and men are paid the same as drivers, according to the non-profit Women in Trucking Association.
With no pay gap, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin introduced legislation to create an advisory board to track the barriers for women entering the trucking industry. "On how to create greater equity, how to remove barriers that make it hard to recruit and retain a workforce," explained Baldwin.
It passed as part of the massive infrastructure law last year. Senator Baldwin says the advisory board can help men as well.
"In terms of implementing solutions, that is going to require a lot of partnerships between private industry private trucking companies and agencies that do worker training," said Baldwin.
For Hamilton, she's grateful for all the doors that have opened since she got her commercial driver's license, and that her position allows her to go home each night to her children.
WEB EXTRA: Hear Senator Baldwin make her case for supporting more women obtaining their CDL license amid the worker shortage: