18 Wheelin' Women

Capstone Design Studio
Allie Paschal

Capstone Design Studio Allie Paschal

As David Galder said, “Privilege is when you think something is not a problem because it’s not a problem to you personally.” 

We, as designers, should strive to see these "invisible" problems we can not as easily identify with, and make the change necessary to design solutions. But developing solutions that are intentional, obtainable, convenient, inclusive, and usable is necessary to allow design to become feasible and functional for everyone.

18 Wheelin' Women

The trucking industry in the United States is 7% women. Women make up about half of the country’s population, yet only 1 out of every 23 semi-truck drivers is a woman.

How can a job industry be so exclusively based on gender?

Turns out, subconscious job application bias, poor diversity selection within job recruitment, discriminatory Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training courses, and the overall acclimation to the trucker lifestyle all contribute to the poor perception women have about this profession. And this poor perception fails to include women.

Women will not even consider this job, though over one million jobs are projected to be added to the trucking industry over the next 10 years, alongside the opportunity for a salary of $19 per hour. But let’s change that.

18 Wheelin’ Women has the ultimate goal of changing this perception of trucking and what it means to be a trucker. By developing positive changes within the trucker job application language, job recruitment initiatives, CDL training environments, and trucker pit stops, this industry can become diversified based on gender, as well as be more representational of the United State’s population. 

Trucking should and can include women. Women are more than capable of driving big rigs. Steering wheels do not see gender, and neither should an entire job industry.

This industry can do better than 7% women, and it starts with inclusive job design.

18 Wheelin' Women-Hero

Project Process Book

While researching for and developing this project, I became immensely impassioned about the general topic of inclusion within design. Though my capstone project focuses on a specific niche of service and job design within the trucking industry, the overall problem I addressed can be found in the most simple designs, as well as in many other job industries. 
Regardless, it is a problem that needs to change. 

The inclusion of underrepresented groups in specific job categories is necessary, but many jobs have this archetype of "normal people" who pursue the job field. It is almost completely subliminal how simple job perceptions and associations can completely deter someone who doesn’t fit within the perceived “in-group” archetype of the job. 

I believe if jobs were better designed for inclusion, from the initial job application to the actual experience of the job, jobs could be more diversified and inclusive of those who do not identify with the current “in group”. The field of study or career someone chooses to have shouldn’t be gender or race-labelled, and I know my project only begins to scratch the surface of the problem, but it still gave me gratification that I attempted to develop a solution for one specific niche of issue.

Allie Paschal

About Me

Allie Paschal

Hi! My name is Alexandra Paschal, but I go by Allie. I am a fourth-year Industrial Design (ID) student also studying Business-Marketing, and I am graduating after the Spring 2021 semester. 

I have a strong passion for analytical thinking and creative-problem solving, and being in the ID undergrad program has only let me enhance these skills. Also through ID, I have been able to adjust to managing harsh deadlines, truly embracing empathy, and learning to collaborate with others. I can only hope I can continue to utilize these skills as well as improve them post-graduation.

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