Back in 2018, Hima Cement started an initiative to have its own fleet of trucks and made a decision to employ 50% women drivers on that fleet. To attract female drivers, the company implemented a partnership with a professional hiring contractor to identify and recruit through;
- Offering free driving lessons and training for women.
- Supporting women in acquiring and upgrading their driving permits.
- Encouraging all material suppliers to hire female drivers.
Six female drivers were recruited on the program and one of our long-term transporters also hired two female drivers.
“Since the inception of the program, we have seen a positive impact on road safety, on-time customer delivery commitments and positive public perception of female drivers,” said Samuel Idiye, the Country Health and Safety Manager.
Other Benefits include:
- 6% more mileage per litre of fuel compared to male counterparts
- 15% lower vehicle maintenance costs
- Improved customer relations
The pool of female truck drivers in Uganda is still small; attributed to lack of awareness and limited perception of the opportunities available in this sector. Government policies on heavy goods vehicle driver licensing are also restrictive.
“We have initiated several partnerships to overcome these challenges, for instance the partnerships with Safe Way Right Way, GIZ, Private Sector Foundation to support Training activities for women drivers,” says Joseph Ssekabira, Head of Logistics.
On-Job Training to increase Number of Female Drivers
Starting this April, we have introduced a new initiative where female drivers with a valid Heavy Goods Vehicle driving license, but who lack experience and opportunity to practice are now recruited, with a waiver to allow two drivers in the cabin instead of the one driver in cabin company policy.
The new driver will get on-the-job training and get further coaching by senior drivers and the driver trainers available at the different dispatch sites.
The coaching experience will last two months and the driver will be ready to take over a truck independently after an assessment. “We want to have 50% female drivers on the company owned-fleet,” says Ssekabira.