Tag Archives: Ellen Voie Article

What I learned from my “wearable”

I never thought I could be friends with a piece of technology that is exceptionally nosey.  I’m a pretty private person, and the thought of sharing my physical data makes me pretty uncomfortable.

Sharing my sleeping patterns, my eating habits, and how often my heart rate was elevated isn’t my idea of privacy.  However, we recently partnered with Rolling Strong to do a wellness competition, and I donned a Fitbit Versa for the challenge.

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HERoes of the Highway

Do you remember when you were a child and someone would ask you what you wanted to be when you grew up?  The typical elementary school response was firefighter, police officer, teacher, doctor, pilot, or even astronaut cited by children.

For many of you reading this blog, perhaps you already knew you wanted to drive a truck or work in supply chain when you were older.  I’m guessing you were in the minority.  Most of the occupations children mentioned had high profiles and were considered more glamorous than working in the trucking industry.

Professional drivers have often been the “invisible” ones on the road.  When you do your job well and are operating in a safe and efficient manner, no one seems to notice you.  It’s only when a motorist thinks you are going too fast, too slow, or driving erratically when they seem to pay attention to the eighteen wheelers alongside them.

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Supporting Drivers During Tough Times

The trucking industry has long been a male-dominated environment, and although things are changing, it’s still predominantly men behind the wheel, in the corner office, and the shop.  As women are drawn to the industry, they are often unprepared to deal with some of the issues they may face, specifically when it comes to coping with diversity challenges.

Many of the women who are seeking tuition funding from the Women In Trucking Scholarship Foundation cite negative reasons for getting a CDL.  Often, they are survivors of domestic abuse, spousal harassment, or worse.  Yet, when we offer them a scholarship, education doesn’t include topics to include needed coping skills.

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Women In Trucking Facebook group celebrates ten years!

Ten years ago, Facebook was emerging as one of the top social media websites and Women In Trucking member, Sandy Long, recognized its potential.  She reached out and asked if she could start a WIT group on the site.  She wanted a place for female drivers to be able to ask questions, network and find new friends.  She saw the value in connecting drivers with technology.

Although Sandy passed away a few years ago, her legacy remains in the WIT Facebook group, which now includes nearly 11,000 individuals in the trucking industry.  Both men and women visit the group to talk about things that affect their roles as professional drivers. While the majority are truck drivers, there are others who are on the site to learn or to network.

You may be surprised to learn that the page is moderated by professional drivers.  They take turns watching the site for compliance.  In fact, while WIT staff check in on the site, the admins are vigilant in ensuring the posters follow the rules, which they must agree to before approval is granted into the closed group.

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We’re listening to our members

The Women In Trucking Association board of directors has a goal to be a resource to the industry.  Whether that means trucking companies, drivers, the government or our members, we want to provide you with the best information (tools) to reach your objectives in creating a more gender diverse workforce.

In 2017 we teamed with Sawgrass Logistics to learn about best practices in hiring female drivers. We learned a lot and have changed our programs to reflect these challenges. However, we continue to survey our members to find out what they want from us, their association.

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Don’t be the victim of a scammer

The email started innocent enough.  The question from the CEO asked if the employee had a moment to “get a task done.” The sender asked the reader to purchase eight eBay gift cards valued at $200 each for a total of $1,600.  The employee was then asked to scratch off the silver lining and send a photo of the codes immediately.

The employee was new at the company and complied with the request, which, unfortunately, was from a scammer.  The cards were purchased before the employee realized it was a scam; fortunately, the codes were never sent to the spammer. 

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2020 New Year’s Resolutions

If you’re like many of us, you probably made at least one New Year’s resolution recently.  According to TheQuint.com, the most common new year’s resolution is to get in shape, or at least, to make an effort to work out.  That’s probably why January is the top month for sales of exercise gear and clothing. 

Why is January 1st such a popular time for us to try and make changes in our lives?  A new year offers us a fresh start, and a way to put our past behaviors to rest.  In 1740, John Wesley, an English clergyman, held the first Covenant Renewal Service on New Year’s Eve.  The service was a time for thinking about past mistakes and resolving to do better in the coming year.

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Is the playing field level for women at the loading dock?

Each year the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) asks drivers and carriers about their top concerns.  As you can imagine, the drivers list differs from the trucking companies’ list, but some issues do affect both groups significantly.

Detention and delays at customer facilities was one of the issues that was important to both groups.  It was the fifth concern for drivers and number sixth on the list for carriers. Delays at the loading docks reduce a driver’s productivity and decrease the level of compensation for both drivers and their companies.

ATRI gathers date through an online survey website but they also collect responses in person at the Mid-America Trucking Show each spring.  This year they received over 1,100 responses from drivers. Thirteen percent of the drivers were female, which is actually much higher than the industry average of ten percent. Most of the respondents were company drivers, but surveys were collected from owner-operators and independent contractors as well.

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What is your intent?

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright once said, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

In this age of social media which allows anonymity and seems to breed contempt, there are too many people who hurl insults at one another without much thought to how it reflects on her (or him).  

I read some of these nasty or offensive comments and it makes me wonder: What is the intent?  Is the poster trying to offend people or is she just a negative person all the time? Is everyone so angry they just react to everything with rage?


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You missed it!

We just wrapped up the 2019 Accelerate! Conference and Expo in Dallas, Texas.  If you weren’t one of the 1,123 registered attendees, you missed one of the most inspiring, educational, and motivational events of the year.

The presentations ranged from driver recruiting (with a focus on female drivers) to communication styles to self-defense.  Every speaker was a recognized expert in her (or his) field.

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