Tag Archives: Women in Trucking Article

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

Steering Toward Kindness – Women in Trucking

#SteeringTowardKindness

Remember the book, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum?  If you’ve never read it, let me give you a few of the author’s reminders

  • Share everything
  • Play fair
  • Don’t hit people
  • Put things back where you found them
  • Don’t take things that aren’t yours
  • Say you’re sorry when you hurt someone
  • Live a balanced life

These are actually pretty simple to understand, even for adults, and I’m guessing you were told these “rules” when you were a child.  If not, I am truly sorry if you didn’t learn these effortless ways to get along with the people around you. Continue reading

You can help drive change through your association

American Author and Management Expert Kenneth Blanchard once said, “The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority.”

Too often we hear people complaining about their circumstances, but they don’t seem to make any effort to change the situation.  They’d just prefer to grumble and let others deal with the same issues.

How can YOU make the trucking industry a better place for all of us?  First, think about how your negative remarks invite more criticism.  Calling someone names or making harmful comments don’t help anyone.  In fact, it just puts the other person on the defensive which prompts them just to shut you out. Continue reading

WIT Image Team Member Donates Kidney

Plover, WI (March 1, 2017)— Women In Trucking Association (WIT) announces Carol Nixon as its March Member of the Month. Carol is a WIT Image Team member and professional driver for Walmart Private Fleet.

Carol is being recognized for giving a kidney to a total stranger.

Carol and a fellow Walmart driver, Deb Pollard both attended the first annual WIT Accelerate! Conference & Expo in 2015, where Carol learned Deb’s husband, Craig, was on dialysis and in need of a kidney. Carol immediately offered to help.

After a series of tests to find out if they were a match, Carol made the decision to donate a kidney, even if Craig couldn’t be the recipient. That way, Craig might make it to the top of the list sooner.  However, after three long weeks of waiting, they learned they were a match and could proceed.  Continue reading

Are you a risk taker? Ellen’s blog for January

Imagine you wake up at 3 am. to a fire alarm in your hotel room on the 15th floor. The announcement from the loudspeaker instructs everyone to exit the building immediately, without using the elevator. What do you do?

This recently happened to me, and after trudging down the flights of stairs and being guided to a parking lot across the street, I was not in a good mood. At least I had pulled on my jeans and grabbed a jacket, as some people were still in their pajamas and were shivering in the chilly morning air.

As you can imagine, we were all relieved, but irritated to learn it was a false alarm. The waiting line for the (very slow) elevators was long, so I decided to walk back up the stairs to my room.  Later, I asked a companion how  many stairs he had to maneuver and he told me he had just gotten into the shower and decided to take a chance that there was no fire and it was only a false alarm. Continue reading