Ancotrans participated in an article about female drivers. The original article was brought by Dansk Industri in ATL Magazine. Link to the original Danish article

Apprentice driver Natascha Sørensen enjoys flying in the face of widespread prejudice about women behind the wheel of heavy vehicles.

Fom time to time, colleagues have ridden roughshod over her boundaries. Some have even openly expressed the view that she should have stuck to working in the office or kitchen. None of this has deterred 21-year-old Natascha Sørensen, who simply laughs at the stupid comments she sometimes gets when working as an apprentice driver at Ancotrans. “It happens quite frequently. Some of my driver colleagues have pretty strong opinions about women and what they can and can’t do. But when a comment does reach my ear, I have always been able to talk to my manager about it and the matter has then been resolved. We communicate really well and that means a lot to me,” says Natascha before climbing into the cab and switching on the engine.


She explains how for her driving a truck is living the dream of a meaningful working life. When she was a child, she used to go on trips with her grandfather who was also a truck driver, and she loved it. But it’s largely thanks to Ancotrans that she’s now on her way to making a career of driving a truck. “I’ve never worked anywhere where I was as happy as I am here. I did internships as both a technical designer and a farmer, but driving is right up my street. There’s a really good team spirit. It’s like we’re a family. And it’s great to get behind the wheel of such a large vehicle – I love it,” says the young apprentice driver with a beaming smile. She enjoys the positive reactions she also gets when people realise there’s a woman at the wheel of one of the big Ancotrans trucks.


Natascha has every good reason to smile as she has disproved other people’s preconceptions of what she can and can’t do. Some of her friends and family members didn’t believe she could do it – working day in and day out at the wheel of a heavy transport vehicle. “Some of my friends were like ‘are you sure you’re up to it?’ They thought it would be too tough for me and, at times, it’s a demanding job, working long hours with very little time off. My family was also a bit sceptical and didn’t believe in me. But that made me even more determined – I decided to prove them wrong. And now I’ve earned their respect. They think I’m pretty cool,” says Natascha. However, her motivation also comes from within.

As she says, she just likes to drive – even at five in the morning when she arrives to take the first trip of the day, a container delivery. And she loves her job most when it presents her with a challenge, such as making a delivery to a place that is difficult to back into first time. “I would definitely recommend this line of work to other girls and women if they like driving – and if they like big vehicles. There are disadvantages, including the lack of toilet facilities when you visit other companies, and truck driving is still a strongly male-dominated profession. But I hope that this will change in the future,” says Natascha, adding that she hopes to become a permanent employee at Ancotrans after her apprenticeship and work as a driver for many years to come.


Ancotrans has successfully hired women drivers – The goal is to reach 10 per cent by 2025. At Ancotrans, special efforts are being made and an internal working group has been set up to focus on initiatives to recruit and retain more female drivers. With a number of means and an open mind, Ancotrans is well on the way to achieving success in a project that may inspire competitors who wish to recruit more women. Currently, seven per cent of the company’s drivers are women, and the goal is to reach 10 per cent by 2025.

“In general, we would like to see more women in the cab. We would have liked to have reached 10 per cent by now. We’re off to a good start and will definitely reach our target by 2025,” says Morten Stubkjær Nielsen, Team Leader at Ancotrans West. He is one of the people behind Ancotrans’ success with female drivers. “In actual fact, women drivers are no different to men. The women do the job on an equal footing with their male colleagues,” Mikael Hadaydeh emphasises.


Practical measures, such as female workwear, toilet facilities for both genders and mentoring schemes are just some of the initiatives Ancotrans has introduced to boost diversity in the driving profession. Sometimes personal circumstances do have to be taken into account. “For example, one of our female drivers is a single parent who starts work later every other Friday to make the day work logistically,” says the team leader, emphasising that Ancotrans also has male drivers who have to be home by 4 pm on weekdays to balance work and personal life.

When asked, Morten Stubkjær Nielsen and Mikael Hadaydeh say they have made only very minor changes to encourage more women to get behind the wheel of the company’s trucks. Nevertheless, they have adjusted a few key parameters: “Our job ads now have pictures of female drivers. And when we make short videos to publicise job opportunities at Ancotrans, they also include women. “It may also have helped that our driver Diana was featured on Go’morgen Danmark,” says Mikael Hadaydeh, referring to a spot on TV 2’s morning programme that featured one of the company’s female drivers with her truck inside Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens.

Even so, the two Ancotrans managers insist that they never discriminate and always refrain from selecting female apprentices in preference to males. “We look at the individual applicant’s background and school qualifications. When we hired Natascha and Simone, our other female driver apprentice, we did so because they performed best at a seminar held to find new apprentices. And we have no regrets. We find that women do the job completely on a par with men,” says Morten Stubkjær Nielsen. However, there are still challenges to face when a group that consists primarily of male drivers suddenly gets a female colleague. “The tone can be very masculine. Sometimes drivers may not have overstepped the mark but got very close to doing so. We nip such cases in the bud. When it happened, we dealt with the situation immediately and everyone walked away as friends,” says Mikael Hadaydeh.