Category Archives: Guest Blogs

This section of blogs from out prestigious guest bloggers

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

Showing appreciation…

“Those who have the ability to be grateful are the ones who have the ability to achieve greatness,” Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free.

When was the last time you received a hand written thank you note, or a card just to let you know someone was thinking of you?  If you’re like most people, it’s probably been too long.  When was the last time you wrote a thank you note?

If you know me personally, you’ll know that I am a firm believer in writing thank you notes.  Apparently, I instilled that same conviction in my children, as the thank you notes from both my son and daughter are sure to follow a gift, party or act of kindness.  I keep them to remind myself of the good times we shared.

Most people use the excuse that they either don’t have the materials handy or they don’t have the time to write out and mail a thank you note.  Both excuses are just a reflection of your priorities.  Keep notes, pens and stamps in plain sight so you can take a moment to send your thoughts without much effort. Continue reading

What is the Women In Trucking Image Team?

In an effort to give more visibility to female professional drivers, the Women In Trucking (WIT) Association created an Image Team in 2015.  The Image Team was designed to allow the organization a way to use female drivers for media events, trade show representation and for ride-alongs with influential people.

The competition was friends, and more than 25 women applied to serve on the team.  Five of them were selected, based on an essay, background check, and review of their professional history and driving record.  If they were a company driver, their carrier was expected to support their involvement.

The five women were Stephanie Klang, (then) Con-way Truckload (now CFI, Inc.), Allyson Hay and Carol Nixon of Walmart Transportation, Wyzeena Heeny, Covenant Transport, and Ingrid Brown, owner-operator of Rollin’ B, LLC. Continue reading