Tag Archives: Ellen Voie

Who do you trust?

Recently I was traveling along an interstate within a construction area and realized I was merely inches from the driver pulling a set of doubles next to me. As I watched those huge tires alongside my convertible, I recalled an elementary school class about trust.

Our teacher asked us to define the word trust and how it related to our own young lives. She pointed to the chairs we were sitting on and asked us if the act of sitting involved trust. In other words, did we trust the legs of the chair to hold us up? Did we trust the chair to give us the accommodations we expected?

Until that point, I hadn’t thought about trust in that way, but as I slowed through the construction zone with a combination tractor-trailer next to me, it became more clear. Continue reading

How (NOT) to hire women by Ellen Voie

An excerpt from a 1943 transportation magazine has circulated through out the industry.  It has been verified as a true reprint by Snopes, which claims that the author is L.H. Sanders, who wrote the article for Mass Transportation Magazine’s July issue.  The intent was to assist (male) managers in choosing the right women to work in jobs formerly held by men who vacated their positions for military service during WWII.

Although the author seems to be patronizing women, he (or she) was probably not intending to portray females as unmotivated, incapable and fragile as the text appears.  However, the eleven “helpful tips” show us how far we have come in proving our ability to work alongside men in many occupations. Continue reading

A female driver’s experience.

The mission of Women In Trucking Association is to increase the percentage of women employed in the trucking industry. While we represent all careers in transportation, much of our work focuses on the professional driver’s challenges. Specifically, we look at obstacles that might keep women from considering a career in transportation.

Many carrier’s representatives have bluntly stated that they don’t “care about the gender of their drivers.” They remark that they hire men and women and treat them equally. If that is true, then why are there twenty men to every woman behind the wheel? Continue reading

Ten tips to attract and retain women as professional drivers.

#1. Let them know you WANT to hire women.  If your recruiting ad doesn’t include women, or worse yet, excludes women, you won’t get their attention.  Don’t always show a male driver in your ads, and don’t assume that the only woman in your ad should be the wife at home.  Go back and look at your recruiting advertisements and see if they appeal to women.  Ask some of your female staff members if they would respond to your company’s ad.

#2. Tell women WHY you are interested in hiring them.  For example, do you have a real desire to hire women as drivers because you believe they are capable and competent?  Women don’t want any special privileges; they just want a level playing field to compete for jobs as a professional, not because of gender.  Don’t ever patronize women or give them the impression that you are hiring them because you are filling some quota or making a statement.  We can see through that! Continue reading

Women In Trucking drivers included in FMCSA Safe Driver Poster

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was created in 2000 with the goal to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.   If you’ve visited their offices in the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) building in Washington DC, you might have noticed a poster depicting accident victims who died in commercial vehicle crashes. The poster was presented in 2009 from the Truck Safety Coalition (trucksafety.org), an organization representing three safety advocacy groups that focus on truck safety issues.

The trucking industry, led by the American Trucking Associations, Inc. (ATA) approached the U.S. DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to suggest a more positive depiction of the industry. The idea of a commercial motor vehicle safe driver recognition poster was suggested and the FMCSA agreed to consider the proposal. Continue reading

What is the value of Women In Trucking Association?

Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

Women In Trucking Association (WIT) started with a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens who were focused on increasing the percentage of women employed in the trucking industry. In the eight years since its inception, the organization is successfully moving its mission forward.
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Increasing Safety through Driver Training

Recently a young (23-year-old) professional driver maneuvered her loaded tractor-trailer onto a 19th century bridge in Paoli, Indiana. The driver held a commercial driver’s license (CDL), but apparently the definition of a ton was not part of the curriculum. The bridge was posted with a six ton weight limit while the tractor-trailer weighed closer to 30 tons, or 60,000 pounds.

She admitted that she did not understand the definition of a ton, which she should have learned in a grade school math class as “a unit of weight equivalent to 2,000 pounds.” The driver had taken a wrong turn and was using the bridge to get back on track and demolished the bridge, the truck and her career in the process.
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Mentoring as a valuable retention approach

Remember back to your first day on the job? You had so many questions, but you weren’t always sure who to ask. Whether it was learning where to store your lunch or coat, or finding your way around the office, you needed someone to steer you in the right direction.

Finding someone who will guide you around the office or in the industry will provide you with a resource when questions arise. A mentor is a person who will lead you and support you as you become familiar with the organization and your new role. Continue reading

The first Women In Trucking Accelerate! Conference and Expo was a huge success.

Question: What does a Mars engineer, a dating doctor, a satellite radio host, a NASCAR driver and a safety administrator have in common?

They were all speakers at the recent Women In Trucking Association’s Accelerate! Conference and Expo.

The 350 attendees learned about self defense and self esteem, how success depends on relationship building, being a female racer in a male dominated environment and much more.  Although the topics were diverse, they were all focused on creating a positive environment for women employed in the transportation industry.
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New Zealand Trucking Industry Shares Global Challenges in Recruiting Drivers

The headline reads, “Transport firms hit by driver shortage.” This article could be from almost any country, since drivers are currently in demand around the globe. However, this particular column was from a New Zealand magazine, which quoted one carrier executive as saying, “It’s just really hard to get quality drivers … we can’t even get any non-quality drivers.”
There are numerous differences between the United States and New Zealand other than the size of the countries. They drive on the opposite side of the road, live in the southern hemisphere, and celebrate Christmas in the summer. One thing is similar for both countries, we are all looking for drivers from non-traditional groups, such as women.
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