Tag Archives: Women In Trucking

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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Nominate a Distinguished Woman in Logistics!

WIT and Truckstop.com are seeking nominations for the 2017 Distinguished Woman in Logistics Award (DWLA). The award recognizes the achievements and leadership of outstanding individuals involved in logistics in North America.

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As a director on our board, I encourage you to submit a nomination by completing the form at http://www.womenintrucking.org/DWLA by January 13, 2017.

As you know, our mission includes celebrating the success of women who are pioneers in the industry. The DWLA program is open to high-performing women in any field related to logistics, including warehousing, traffic and shipping, supply chain management, third-party logistics, trucking, rail, and maritime cargo. 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

Never drive alone – WIT App

The trucking industry is a close-knit community, especially for professional drivers. However, sometimes a familiar face may be hard to find when you’re out on the road.

Now you can know where your friends are through the new Women In Trucking (WIT) app by Trucker Sam. Currently available in Android version (IOS coming soon!), this app allows you to connect with your friends in real time. When you stop for the night at your favorite truck stop, you’ll be able to open the app and see which of your friends are in the area.

You determine who can see your location, so you can have family members track you as well. Your kids (or grandkids) can see where you are and your spouse will know when to expect you for dinner. 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.

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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

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

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.
Continue reading

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