News / Growing driver shortage: Industry wants more women behind the wheel

Growing driver shortage: Industry wants more women behind the wheel

In a few years, Denmark will be short of 2500 drivers and the transport industry is now trying to recruit women. Trainee driver Cecilie Kongerslev can’t understand why so few women choose the challenging job of a driver.

For Cecilie Kongerslev, the working day starts between 4.00 and 5.30 am. Fortunately, it's no more than half a meter from where she sleeps to where she works in the cab of her Volvo. Behind the wheel of the big truck, she spends most of the day driving between Helsingborg in Sweden and biogas plants across Denmark with ferric chloride in the tank. The 24-year-old from Fredericia is an apprentice driver with the transport company Dantra A/S. The training takes three and a half years and she loves her life as a driver.

Everything about the job is exciting! I am in control of a big truck, responsible for the safe arrival of the goods and, most importantly, for keeping the schedule. Of course, this puts a lot of pressure on my ability to organize the working week and maintain a reasonable flow. At the same time, it is relaxing not to have someone telling me what to do all the time.

- Cecilie Kongerslev

From Monday to Friday, she lives in her truck and spends her weekends with friends and family.


An unknown industry with opportunities

However, very few young people in general, and women in particular, choose the same educational path as Cecilie Kongerslev. Between one and two percent of all Danish drivers are women. By comparison, women make up 15 percent of drivers in Sweden. The industry itself estimates that Denmark will have a shortage of 2,500 drivers in a few years, so the Transport Development Fund and the Freight Transport Training and Development Fund have set up a task force to come up with concrete ideas on how to get more women to become drivers.

The biggest challenge is that, unfortunately, the driving industry is relatively unknown. In a ranking of 99 professions by prestige, we drivers are ranked 11th from the bottom. And that's a pity. For society, as drivers are indispensable to a functioning economy, but also for young people, who automatically reject an otherwise exciting education and a career that offers challenges and where no two days are ever the same.

- Bent Levring

120 new fathers

Cecilie Kongerslev knew from the beginning that her career choice was entering a world where women are a rarity. However, for a year and a half, she has received only positive feedback on that basis.

I never would have guessed that 120 new fathers would come along when I signed the training contract. All my colleagues are so nice and from day one they have given me lots of tips and tricks. I take it all in and write down all the nuggets in a notebook.

I would argue that all women can work as drivers in a company like Dantra. Even though I'm the only woman, I feel completely part of the clique when we sit and talk over the walkie-talkie. There is a great team spirit among drivers, both internally at Dantra and with drivers from other companies that I meet on the job. If we could break down prejudices, I'm sure many more women would feel the same way I do.

- Cecilie Kongerslev

Contact us

As a freight forwarder trainee, I have been allowed to work very independently and with great responsibility from the very beginning of my traineeship.

My experienced colleagues provide me with good training and lots of support.

I find the job as a freight forwarding trainee both varied and exciting, as no two days are the same. You will also quickly see the results of your work.

I am challenged daily by customers to find the most optimal transport solutions for them. I find that exciting.

In addition to the many coordinating tasks, you will also learn a lot about the rules to be respected in different countries and become proficient in geography.

Camilla, former freight forwarding trainee