Women in the driver’s seat: Supporting more women in the trucking industry

WBF TEC grant announcement

Published On
February 20, 2024

$2.78 million provincial grant puts more women in the driver’s seat  

More women in Alberta will have a chance to become professional truck drivers.

Women Building Futures received a 2-year grant from the Government of Alberta to expand training opportunities for women in commercial transportation.  

“Alberta has a shortage of skilled drivers which impacts the supply chain and creates inflationary pressures. Women are an untapped resource in the commercial driving sector. Fewer than three per cent of Class 1 drivers in Alberta are women, and by providing grants to support organizations like Women Building Futures, we can help people get good-paying jobs and alleviate critical shortages in trucking,” Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors Devin Dreeshen.

About only 4% of people who drive a truck for a living in Canada are women, leaving them out of well-paying careers they can fit around their lives. Like skilled trades, the transportation industry faces a retirement gap in the coming years. The COVID-19 pandemic showed the critical need for efficient, reliable and timely transportation for a healthy economy. Women Building Futures is part of the solution.  

“Women Building Futures is proud to stay at the forefront of leading change for women entering new careers in commercial transportation. By partnering with employers that value and work to make inclusive workspaces – and with tremendous support from the Government of Alberta – we will see more women driving to an economically secure future,” says Carol Moen, president and CEO of Women Building Futures.

This investment from the Alberta Transportation and Economic Corridors will help WBF build the skills, knowledge and confidence for women to succeed in resilient careers as drivers with companies committed to safe and inclusive workplaces.  

“Alberta’s government is dedicated to ensuring women can fully participate in our province’s growing economy. Our province is stronger when more women are in the driver’s seat, and through funding like this, we can help women gain meaningful employment and help continue Alberta’s impressive economic momentum,” says Minister of Arts, Culture and Status of Women Tanya Fir.

WBF has a unique model that helps remove as many barriers to employment as possible for women so they can focus on their programs and futures. From coaching support to student funding and affordable housing to alumni services, WBF creates the right environment for student success and a future with employers committed to changing and leading positive change in the workplace.

The work of WBF extends beyond preparing women for the industry; WBF is also committed to getting the industry ready for women – and this grant also supports our work with industry and training partners. Employer partners through the WBF Employers of Choice program are instrumental in driving more inclusive workplaces for women and will help influence positive cultural change across the industry. 

“It didn’t take me long to realize that I found a career and a company to last me a lifetime,” says Sierra Lybbert, a WBF Professional Class 1 Driver graduate and a dispatcher at Caron Transportation Systems. “With so much room to grow and the ever-increasing demand for Class 1 drivers, I look forward to seeing many more women be given the opportunity of a lifetime I received. It changed my life more than I could ever describe, and I know it will change many more.”

In March, WBF will welcome the first 12 Professional Class 1 Driver students funded through the Government of Alberta’s investment. Applications for the next class scheduled in June are now open