Bamburi Cement, partnering with Isuzu East Africa, has announced the fourth edition of their Women on Wheels (WoW) program, which seeks to recruit, train and place 50 more female truck drivers in Kenya this year.
Increasing the opportunities from the 21 female drivers trained and placed in jobs last year, Bamburi intends to expand the initiative to other like-minded organizations with trucking prospects, such as EABL, Coca-Cola, Unilever, BAT, Vivo Energy, and Total Energies, in order to gradually close the gender gap and guarantee more women are represented in professional trucking.
This year’s application window closes on April 5, followed by training from April 24-28, 2023. Eligible candidates must have a driving license class A, B, C and E, at least five years’ experience in driving commercial vehicles, a Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) and a certificate of good conduct.
Commenting on this year’s program, Bamburi Cement’s Managing Director Seddiq Hassani urged private sector partners to collaborate on training projects to combat stereotypes that portray truck driving as an unattractive profession for women.
“The private sector needs to attract more female drivers into the profession by treating them as capable and valued professional drivers. We are committed to working with our partners to scale this initiative and close the gender gap in this profession as part of good citizenship and our sustainability programs under Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), and Health, Safety and Environment Agenda,” Mr Seddiq stated.
The WoW initiative, which began in December 2021, has trained and deployed qualified women truck drivers in positions with Bamburi and other logistics partners. Eight female drivers have been assigned to Bamburi transporters in the cement and clinker flow, while nine more are assigned to Bamburi transport trucks.
During each program, the women go through intensive technical training to learn how to operate heavy trucks, including simulator exercises that expose them to various truck driving tactics, road safety, and soft skills training and mentoring.
According to Flone Initiative, a women-led organization dedicated to creating safe, sustainable and accessible public transportation spaces for women, Kenyan women account for only 10% of the public transportation workforce, with the majority of them working as matatu operators in the Nairobi Metropolitan Area.
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