Bamburi Cement Women On Wheels programme
Bamburi Cement Managing Director Seddiq Hassani said the programme fits within the company’s “diversity, equity and inclusion” agenda.

Bamburi Cement in partnership with Isuzu East Africa, Kenya Transporters Association and four other organizations on 16th December launched Women on Wheels, a female-centered training and recruitment program seeking to encourage more women to take up truck driving as a career.

The Women on Wheels program brings together key players in the transport industry keen on eliminating the entrenched male culture, improving working conditions and ensuring safe workplaces. Other partners include Pioneer Road Safety Consultants Ltd, Diamond Defensive Driving Academy and North Star Alliance.

Through the program, the women undergo rigorous technical truck operation and defensive driving training where they are equipped with skills on how to operate heavy trucks, including simulator exercises that expose them to different truck driving techniques; road safety, and soft skills training and coaching.

Kenyan women currently make up only 10% of the public transport workforce; 85% of them work as PSV operators in the Nairobi Metropolitan area, according to a 2020 survey by Flone Initiative.

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Another 2020 study by World Bank and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure shows the current working environment creates barriers to women in the transport professions. The barriers include dominant culture of masculinity and gender stereotypes, discrimination, unequal treatment at work, sèxual harassment, exposure to violènce while on the road and lack of work-life balance, and ‘the care trap’.

Speaking during the launch of the program, Bamburi Cement’s Country Head of Health, Safety and Environment Jane Wangari said, “beyond the training initiatives, Women on Wheels program will also ensure job placement for the women with Bamburi and its logistics partners. We are set to recruit at least 100 women annually into the programme, and grow going forward.”

Bamburi Cement Managing Director Seddiq Hassani said the programme fits within the company’s “diversity, equity and inclusion” agenda.

“In December last year we signed the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP) as part of our commitment to promoting gender equality and inclusion in our workplace and the community,” Hassani said. “The gender gap is far from closed, however we are determined to increase the proportion of women in every aspect of our operations.”

Isuzu East Africa Managing Director Rita Kavashe said the programme will include experienced women drivers ready for employment, license holders with no truck driving experience, as well as freshers who have not yet acquired a driving license.

Kenya Transporters Association Chief Operating Officer Mercy Ireri said the trucking industry is rife with hurdles which make the transport sector unattractive for women. “Fleet managers, owners, as a well as players in the logistics value chain as a whole, have a responsibility to shift stereotypes, embrace diversity and adapt their recruiting, hiring and training to reflect the growing presence of women in industries that have traditionally been male-dominated,” Ms Ireri said.

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Diamond Defensive Driving Academy’s Lydia Mwaniki said “women have so much to offer to this industry. From our experience, not only are women less likely than men to be involved in a c***h, women tend to be easier to train, and have superior customer service and paperwork skills.”

Challenges experienced by most female truck drivers go deeper than bias. Safety is a key concern that encompasses everything from poor vehicle maintenance to dangerous or poorly lit loading docks to pushing workers to drive for long hours. Lengthy hours away from family for days or weeks at a time discourages many women from joining the field as long-haul drivers.

“We plan to address these concerns by ensuring that the drivers move in convoys and encouraging the transporters to allocate them shorter and safer routes,” said Ms Wangari.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Good evening..
    I am interested in the training of driving truck’s.. Your response will be highly appreciated
    Yours sincerely
    Joy wangui

  2. I would love to be one of the beneficiary, I always admire the women who drive trucks, ill be so happy if my dream come to pass.

  3. I would like to be part of you as a woman who has train in driving a canter or 8 wheels vehicle need a chance like this, hope you will give me a job and I will coparate and work under minimal supervision,

  4. I am very much interested and passionate about the training programme for women, I would love to be recognised for the programme. Your response will be highly appreciated. Wangui Kamau

  5. Am interested and would love to join the training…Am 10yrs experience in driving,3 yrs in psv vehicles.hope my dream will come true.
    Regards Emily.

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