Category Archives: Guest Blogs

This section of blogs from out prestigious guest bloggers

What a year it’s been!

As we close the calendar pages on 2018, we wanted to take the opportunity to look back at the amazing growth and successes for Women In Trucking (WIT) Association this past year.

In January we started the weekly Women In Trucking Show on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Channel 146.  Every Saturday, WIT President Ellen Voie interviews guests on topics as diverse as self defense, drones, trade show and so much more.  This has given us the opportunity to reach an even great audience and to interact with current and potential members on the air.

We were also thrilled to announce a new platform on our website for our members to meet each other virtually and to interact online.  The Engage Platform is fast becoming a way to share best practices, find solutions from other members and to just meet others with the same concerns or challenges. We recently launched the Engage App as well to reach even more of our members. Continue reading

Eight wishes for 2019 from Women In Trucking Association

This year, we’d like to share our hopes for the coming year with ten ways to support the Women In Trucking Association mission to increase the percentage of women employed in the trucking industry.

#1        More carriers will start monitoring their percentages of female drivers and will set targets to increase those levels.  They should hold recruiters, dispatchers, and everyone in management accountable for not only hiring more women, but retaining the ones they already have.  Ten years ago, carriers insisted they didn’t care about the age, gender or race of their drivers. Now more and more companies are understanding why we should focus more on diversity.  The WIT Index tracks progress in the percentage of over the road female drivers and although it’s increased to 7.89 percent in 2018 (up from 7.13 percent in 2017), we still have a long way to go. Continue reading

Nontraditional careers: Introducing girls to technology in supply chain

The government defines a nontraditional career as one where over 75 percent of the workforce is of the opposite gender.  We’ve always known that the trucking industry has been a nontraditional career choice for women, but we often point to diesel engines, time away from home and loading and unloading as reasons women aren’t interested.

If that is the case, then why do women only comprise twenty-six percent of jobs in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM.  These jobs typically pay higher wages and have low levels of unemployment.  Despite the efforts of groups like “Girls in Tech,” “Women in Technology,” and “Girls Who Code,” the number remain stubbornly low. Continue reading

Shouldn’t we stick together to create positive change?

Every day the admins on the Women In Trucking Association Facebook page scan the posts for negativity, profanity and just plain nastiness.  Every day someone is banned from the site because they can’t seem to keep his or her comments civil.

Why?

Why can’t we show more kindness, empathy and just be nice?

Believe it or not, there are biological reasons why our brains lean toward negativity.  It goes back to the Stone Age and our tendency to be more concerned about survival than kindness.  Avoiding a predator was crucial, so staying away from a tiger was more critical than petting a friendly dog. Continue reading

Indians Fan takes the mound at Women In Trucking day at Progressive Field

Mark Harter has always loved trucks.    As a teenager, he was intrigued by how trucks move aerodynamically, and he set up a wind tunnel in his parent’s garage.  He entered the project in a science fair and won the Central Indiana Regional competition which took him all the way to the International Science and Engineering Fair in 1993.

When Mark turned 21, he earned his commercial driver’s license and began his career at a flatbed carrier. Later he delivered high-end cars for Horseless Carriage for many years.  In fact, he has nearly one million accident-free miles behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer. Continue reading

Women In Trucking’s SiriusXM show on Road Dog Channel 146

Before satellite radio became a reality in 1990, professional drivers and anyone who traversed the country had to either listen to their cassettes (or eight tracks!) or they would be forced to change channels as the moved across the nation.  Satellite radio allowed the listener to maintain one channel for hours without losing a signal.

Sirius Satellite radio originated in Washington DC and was launched in 2001, just following the debut of XM radio in 2001. In the early years, subscribers had to choose between Sirius and XM. Most drivers seemed to prefer the trucking-related content of XM which featured hosts from America’s Trucking radio network such as bill Mack, Dave Nemo and the Truckin’ Bozo (Dale Sommers). Continue reading

Trucks ARE for girls!

Ten years ago, when I would stand in front of trucking company executives to talk about Women In Trucking (WIT), their comments were typically dispassionate.  “We don’t care if the driver is male or female,” was the usual response.   “We just want good drivers.”

I would try to make them understand that women wanted different things in a carrier as well as the industry as a whole.  Women often had the same challenges but would prioritize their significance differently.

Safety was always an issue.  Women looked for a carrier that was concerned about their personal safety on the road as well as how well they maintained the tractor and trailer.  We knew that women are more risk averse than men.  Even the World Health Organization called “masculinity” hazardous to health due to risky driving.


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A letter to our Facebook friends – Ellen Voie

Dear Facebook friends who post, like or lurk on the Women In Trucking (WIT) Association Facebook page.   Our admins are professional drivers who are just like you.  They all have full time jobs driving a truck for a living, however, they have volunteered (no, they do not get paid) to spend their time, energy and passion to keep this page as a resource, a place to network and a safe place to learn….for YOU.  Yes, you.

They spend countless hours removing profanity, attacks on other people, recruiting ads and negative comments that are not meant to be helpful.

How about giving them a day off?  What if everyone on our Facebook page actually abided by the rules that YOU agreed to when you were accepted into the group?  Let’s allow them ONE day to sit back and have some relief from the negativity and spitefulness. Continue reading

Should we promote same-gender training policies?

Imagine you are a 24-year-old female who decides to become a professional driver.  You attend a truck driving school during the day for three to six weeks.  You proudly display your newly earned commercial driver’s license to the recruiter, who promises you a great job with new equipment and a friendly dispatcher.

You then learn that you need to go out on the road with a trainer, a 58-year-old man with whom you will be sharing the cab of a truck, including the bunk area, for the coming weeks. Regardless of his clean record, his paternal demeanor or his soft smile, the thought of sharing a small space with a stranger of the opposite sex could be terrifying. Continue reading

Can we just get along?

I recently attended a conference for warehouse professionals.  I was intrigued by one of the sessions titled, “Managing Carrier Friendly Warehouses” and decided to attend.  The facilitator asked the audience how many were from the warehouse industry and how many were from the carrier side.

Apparently, I was the only person in the room interested in how these executives were working on becoming more “carrier friendly.”  I was asked to give them some ideas on how they could better accommodate drivers.

My list included a nice lounge with fresh fruit and snacks, comfortable chairs to sit in and showers and rest rooms for both men and women.  I suggested they include free wi-fi and make available a “courtesy car” if the driver wants to leave the facility while he or she is waiting for a load. Continue reading