Heavy truck driving has always been predominantly male dominated. But, not anymore.
Meet Rirhandzu Baloyi, a new qualified heavy-duty truck driver. She, and many of her classmates from the Commercial Transport Academy, were unemployed before Volvo stepped in. For most of these women, the idea of being on the road in a big truck has never even crossed their minds.
The programme comes as a much-needed bridge to tighten the critical shortage of skilled commercial drivers, which is one of the contributing factors to the country’s high fatality rate on the roads. “Iron Women is a programme that’s aiming at training women to become heavy duty truck drivers. We believe that there are way too few women in the industry,” says Marcus Hörberg, Vice President at Volvo Group Southern Africa.
The Volvo Iron Women heavy-duty truck driving school is providing education and employment opportunities, which is uplifting women and their communities.
Volvo Trucks understands the need to have more women drivers in the heavy-duty truck driving industry and that is why Iron Women exists. Moreover, because the playing field has always been male dominated it makes it even more crucial that women receive the right training in order to be exposed to the same opportunities as their male counterparts.
With their apprenticeship programme, Volvo Trucks South Africa is at the forefront of upskilling young people from previously disadvantaged groups and giving them skills and training to become fully functioning and competent adults.
Rirhandzu and her classmates are a microcosm of what gender-equality could look like. In addition, we need to remember: they are not ordinary women, they are Iron Women.