Tag Archives: Women in Trucking Association

Women In Trucking advances its mission with a Girl Scout Transportation Patch

In October of 2014, eighty four young girls gathered at Olive Harvey School in Chicago, Illinois for the first Girl Scout Transportation event.  These girls heard from a (female) Navistar Engineer who talked about designing trucks to better accommodate women.  They also were given the opportunity to meet two female professional drivers and to climb into the cab of the trucks.

This was the very first Girl Scout event initiated by Women In Trucking Association. Since then at least fourteen more event have been held in the United States and Canada (where they are called Girl Guides.)

The purpose of the Transportation Patch is to expose young girls to careers in the supply chain.  From trucks, to boats and airplanes and pipelines, nearly 800 young girls have now earned the Women In Trucking Transportation Patch.  Inquiries continue to come in from all over the world.  Many are initiated by carriers, some are from truck driving schools, others are from dealers, but many are from Girl Scout (Guide) Troops themselves.

I recently had the opportunity to participate in the University of Wisconsin Superior’s Girl Scout Transportation Day.  We started the morning with 21 young girls eager to learn about transportation.  We talked about how their Girl Scout cookies actually start out as grain in a farmer’s field.  The grain is transported, by a truck, to the bakery.  Then, from the bakery to the packaging center the cookies are moved by a truck.  The next step is to send them (via truck) to the distribution center.  After the cookies are transported to the regional Girl Scout office, the delivery is made by the Girl Scout to the customer.  The girls related to the supply chain lesson and will now identify trucks as potentially hauling their cookies.

We took a tour of the S. S. Meteor, the world’s last Whaleback Ship.  The girls were fascinated by the massive cargo holds, but took a special interest in the Captain and Crew’s sleeping and eating quarters.  The tour guide allowed each group to tug on the air horn!

The next stop was a ride on the North Shore scenic railroad.  The ride included a pizza lunch after a visit to the museum. The girls learned about trains and how steam locomotives transported workers to various locations in northing Minnesota.

After returning to the University, the girls were separated into three groups.  Each group had the opportunity to move between learning stations.  As one group of girls learned about airplanes and how lift and trust affect the way the airplane flows through the atmosphere, another group made a pipeline and watched it “erupt” like a volcano.  The last group met a female professional driver, Terri, who showed them her truck and let them pull the air horn.

By the end of the day, the girls had learned about all modes of transportation, but more importantly, they were exposed to people who operated these engines and what the job entails.

The Women In Trucking Association developed the curriculum and the patches with the Greater Chicago/Northern Indiana regional office.  The curriculum is free to corporate members of the association, and the patches can be purchased at cost for $1 each.

This project will also be supplemented by an activity guide depicting the supply chain path of the cookies from the field to the final mile, which is the Girl Scout.  This activity guide is currently being produced by the Women In Trucking Association and will be available for our members later this year.

For more information about the Women In Trucking’s Girl Scout (Guide) Transportation Patch and curriculum, please contact Char@womenintrucking.org or call 888-464-9482.

This project supports the organization’s mission to encourage more women to look at careers in transportation and supply chain and by reaching young girls through the Transportation Patch this mission is being accomplished.

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Being recognized by Todd the TSA agent.

The reports about airline incidents have been numerous lately and don’t seem to be stopping.  Maneuvering through a busy airport, like Atlanta or Chicago, is not fun. In fact, it’s frustrating and challenging, even for frequent flyers who know what to expect.

As President of the Women In Trucking Association, I spend a lot of time flying to meetings, conferences and speaking engagements. I stick with Delta, as there aren’t a lot of choices at my home airport in Appleton, Wisconsin.  Continue reading

JumpStart Auto Repair, a Garage for Good

While the trucking industry seeks more women to fill the roles of driver, technician and leader, the automotive industry has some of the same challenges. It’s still not common to see female mechanics working on your car.  Even less common is a shop run by women for women.

That’s the goal of JumpStart Auto Repair in Appleton, Wisconsin.  Their mission is to provide honest, reliable service to women, who reportedly make up 65 percent of all car repair decisions.

Their focus is even more targeted, as their partners are two domestic abuse shelters in the area, the Harbor House Domestic Abuse Programs and Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services.  The number one reason someone will return to an abusive relationship. So, JumpStart LLC, a garage for good, was created. Continue reading

A decade of steering toward diversity

In 2007 a group of influential, successful women met in Las Vegas to create a mission statement for a new organization called “Women In Trucking (WIT).” These women knew what it was like to be outnumbered at every industry event where they would search the room for another female to make a connection.  Their goal was simple, to increase the number of women employed in trucking, from driver to board member, diversity was the challenge.

Although women are still a minority in trucking, the Women In Trucking Association is moving the needle. In the past ten years, we’ve made great strides in increasing the ranks of women through numerous initiatives.  To name a few….WIT-logo-10-year

The Girl Scout (Girl Guide) Transportation Patch was created in cooperation with the Greater Chicago/Northern Indiana Girl Scouts. The curriculum guide is available only from the Women In Trucking Association. Numerous troops across North America have learned been able to see a truck close up and learn about careers as drivers, managers and other roles in transportation. 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

Does your recruiting ad attract women?

What makes a word relate better to a male or a female? According to Kat Matfield, who created a gender decoder for job ads (http://gender-decoder.katmatfield.com), “we all use language that is subtly “gender-coded” and this affects job advertising as well.

Matfield based her web-based tool on a study by professors from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada and Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. Her goal is to remove gender bias in hiring, starting with the recruiting ads.

woman-truck-driver

Before Title VII of the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, many job ads were grouped under headings signifying the specific gender of the applicant. For example, stewardesses looked under the job listings for women and truck drivers could find carriers hiring under the listings for men. 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.
Continue reading