The typical White Van Man, as they’re commonly referred to in Great Britain, isn’t necessarily a man. According to a recent informal study from British insurance company AXA, a third of commercial van drivers are women.

Are the demographics of field service changing? According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, women make up 3.5 percent of the installation, maintenance, and repair workforce, as of January, 2011 (the most recent date available). That includes:

  • ATM repairers (9 percent women)
  • HVAC mechanic/repairer (0.8 percent)
  • Precision instrument and equipment repairer (16.2 percent)
  • Telecommunications line installers/repairers (4.3 percent)

AXA’s survey — small though it be — suggests that perhaps the profile of the White Van Man is in need of an update. “Commercial van drivers have been given a pretty bad reputation over the past decade, but the stereotypes of them couldn’t be further from the reality,” said Darrell Sansom, the managing director for AXA Business Insurance in an accompanying press release. “What we’re finding is that as more and more women are driving vans, coupled with a higher degree of professionalism amongst the van driving community, the stereotypical perception of a ‘white van man’ is fast becoming a thing of the past.”

Are you seeing more women entering the field service professions? Let us know in the comments section, or on LinkedIn.

More: 10 Ways Women Can Thrive in a Male-Dominated Workplace.

Click here to download a free whitepaper, “Five Steps to Make Field Service Profitable.”

ABOUT Ian Stewart

Avatar photoIan is a veteran journalist who has covered sports for various news outlets. Previously, he was managing editor for an electronic-book publishing company and a public relations writer.