BY ARNOUX MARÉ, MD OF INNOVATIVE STAFFING SOLUTIONS
Women are not content with being confined solemnly to jobs traditionally associated with their gender. They are also stepping into roles previously occupied by men. Audrey Mngomezulu (35) is one such a woman.
Armed with her CODE 14 license; Professional Driving Permit (PDP); Dangerous Goods Permit and having recently completed training at Innovative Learning Solutions (ILS), Africa’s biggest truck driving training and testing centre, Mngomezulu says she is ready to prove her worth by taking on the challenges of the road.
“I love trucks. It’s been that way since I was young. When I came across Innovative Learning Solutions’ Introduction to Advanced Driving Techniques course, I knew I had to sign up for it. The training was exactly what I needed because I conducted my CODE 14 training and testing with the three-axle truck and the ILS programme uses a Volvo Superlink which requires more skill to handle. Trucking companies want drivers who are competent in the Superlink, so I am more than satisfied that I’ve now got a competency certificate,” says Mngomezulu.
Mngomezulu is Innovative Learning Solutions’ first female candidate, but Arnoux Maré, the Managing Director of ILS says she will not be the last.
“We are glad to have had our first female trucker successfully complete her training at ILS. We look forward to seeing more women equip themselves with the necessary skills to master a Superlink truck and become employed in the trucking industry, which is traditionally considered a male-dominated industry,” says Maré.
Mngomezulu continues, “Having acquired the certification that deems me competent in alley docking and straight reverse, I can work towards finding a job and building a future for my children with a job in the trucking industry.”
She says beyond the social limitations most women face, another reason not many women are truck drivers rests on old mindsets of driving being a man’s job.
“Driving is gender-neutral. It is not reserved for a specific sex but studies have proven that women generally are safer drivers than men, yet there are fewer of us driving professionally,” explains Mngomezulu.
Maré says Innovative Learning Solutions’ sister company Innovative Staffing Solutions, which employs over 11,000 permanent truck drivers, has a push to recruit more women drivers.
“With more women carving their mark as truck drivers, I am confident the industry will reach parity. Our job at Innovative Learning Solutions is to make sure we minimise any stumbling blocks in the driver’s path by providing them with the opportunity to upskill themselves and make them better and safer drivers,” concludes Maré.