Truck driving - a man's job? The 28-year-old Tanja sees it differently. For the professional driver, her job means variety and excitement. She sees proving herself among the men rather as a challenge rather than an insurmountable hurdle. She is one of the few women in this male-dominated career field.
Recruitment problems in the transport and logistics industry
In total, there are around half a Million professional woman drivers and professional drivers. Of these, about 35.000 truck drivers go each year in retirement, or stop for other reasons, while only 15.000 new drivers pick up this profession - a deficit of 20.000 drivers per year. For this reason, large recruitment problems exist in the transport and logistics industry, which therefore urge the employers to make the profession more attractive to women. A particularly large obstacle is the cost of training because a truck-driver's license costs around 3000€ and must be financed out of their own pocket. Nevertheless, the efforts start to bear fruits, because truck drivers are desperately sought. The demand is increasing considerably, which is why a safe workplace for trainees and newcomers seems in prospect. As a result, more and more other women, next to Tanja, are being trained to a professional driver.
Keep a cool head in crisis situations
However, the training is not everything: In this industry, a strong personality is particularly crucial. According to Tanja you have to have a thick skin, because harsh handling and verbal abuse do belong to the day-to-day-life in this often stressful environment. Just at this point, the male colleagues are happy about female support, as women are more relaxed and balanced, they say. The result is often a smoother approach, which can help in crisis situations, to solve a problem faster and more effectively. Lars, who is a professional truck driver since more than 15 years, is happy about female colleagues: "I have the highest respect, that our woman drivers pull this often very hard work through easily and even with fun or a funny saying on the lips."
A life on three square meters
At first glance, the job may not always be easy. It is hectic, physically strenuous, and especially difficult to arrange with family and friends because often overnight stays in the three square meters drivers cabin are on the agenda. However, the versatility of the job and the travel across Europe make it an absolute dream job for Tanja, despite everything. Variety is the charm because, on the streets, something unforeseeable can always happen in the form of traffic jams, accidents, or inspections. In this process, one constantly meets different people and learns to deal with the individual personalities in crisis situations.
Tanja gets the relaxation at home: When she comes home to her family, she does not need to be the tough young woman who needs to assert herself among the men. Here she can enjoy the peace and quiet and recharge her batteries. But at the latest after a few days, it itches her again in the fingers. Then she recovered enough to want to get out on the streets of Europe and she calls the company: "What´s boys, where should I drive to?"