Tag Archives: women truckers

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

Merry Christmas from us to You

Truckers welcome to the special edition of our blog, coming to you from all of us here at Think Trade Inc. It’s a very special time of the year, but for truck drivers the chance being home with family and friends, remains as a dream year after year. For many other truck drivers, it’s another day of progress. We don’t know where you’ll be today, with your family or on the road working hard for us, but we want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
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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

Promoting all women in the trucking industry

The Women In Trucking Association represents all women employed in the trucking industry.  We represent the women who design the trucks, build the trucks, buy the trucks, fix the trucks and drive the trucks.  If you are one of the five percent of female drivers or one of the fourteen percent of female managers in the trucking industry, we are here for you.

The overall purpose of the organization is to increase the percentage of women working in the trucking industry to utilize unrealized potential.  As former US DOT Secretary ray LaHood said, “After all – regardless of gender – everyone uses our transportation systems, and those systems will serve us more effectively when they are planned, designed, engineered and built by the professionals who represent all of us. Continue reading

Why does YOUR company need more women in leadership?

“The closer that America comes to fully employing the talents of all its citizens, the greater the output of goods and services will be.”

Warren Buffett

The Women In Trucking mission includes encourage the employment of women working in the trucking industry. We understand that there is a need for professional drivers, and women are underrepresented in this area, but what about women in management?

You should strive for more women in your leadership roles.  Not because it’s the right thing to do, but because it affects your bottom line.  Pepperdine University found a correlation between high-level female executives and business success.  The Harvard Business Review reported firms with the best records for promoting women outperform industry medians with overall profits thirty four percent higher.  Catalyst research found that companies with the highest representation of women leaders financially outperform, on average, companies with the lowest.
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Focus on hiring veterans at the White House

It’s no secret that the trucking industry is experiencing a need for qualified drivers. Many carriers have made a commitment to hire more veterans for both driving and managerial positions. However, the unemployment rate for veterans continues to be an area of concern for both employers and the government.

Did you know there were over 500,000 unemployed veterans as of December 2014 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics? They also reported that 1.5 million veterans were only employed in part time positions.
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WIT, Ellen Voie – article

In the 1993 children’s novel The Giver by Lois Lowry, all children are assigned to a career or job at the age of twelve. The community leaders determine who will be engineers, legislators, shopkeepers, and even surrogate mothers. 
 
Although the author doesn’t address the role of professional driver, this is an assumption made based on the society’s effort to control the community by “assigning” a job according to the child’s skills and aptitude.
 
For those of us in the United States and Canada, we have the option to choose our life aspirations and to change those goals as we mature. In fact, many of us made career choices in high school, but changed those ideals based on our experiences and circumstances. 
 
Even those of us who entered college with a specific course of education in mind probably changed our major more often than we had anticipated. When addressing groups at a conference I often ask whether they had CHOSEN a career in transportation when they were younger. For most of them, the answer is “no.” 
 
The common perception by the general public is that truck drivers often pursue the career as a last resort. Maybe they were laid off from a construction or factory job and they responded to a recruiting ad to obtain a CDL and become a professional driver. This perception isn’t entirely misleading. 
 
The problem we have in the United States and Canada is that we are limited in focusing on teenagers as drivers because of the interstate restrictions that require a driver to be at least 21 years old to transport loads across state lines. Add to that a two-year experience requirement for many insurance providers and you’ve got a work force that starts at the age of 23. 
 
While we don’t want to assign twelve-year-old children to the role of professional driver as depicted in The Giver, it would be difficult to make a prospective driver wait another nine years to earn a living in the trucking industry.
 
There are ways to encourage children to consider a career in the trucking industry, especially as professional drivers. Other countries are ahead of us in this effort.
 
In Sweden, education is mandatory for children ages seven to sixteen. Although there are classes for younger children, compulsory comprehensive school, named “Grundskola,” begins at the age of six or seven. While most schools are publicly funded, there are a few independent schools in Sweden that might have a different orientation than their government counterparts. 
 
Once the student has completed nine years of primary school, they can elect to enter secondary school, named “Gymnasieskola.” In this environment, they are given the option to prepare for higher education or to receive a vocation education. During this three-year education, the students are further divided into programs, or different educational pursuits. Those who choose vocational courses will receive at least fifteen weeks of workplace training over the three years.
 
While core courses are taught to all students in “Gymnasieskola,” the student is guided into program specific classes. One of those vocational training options is in “automotive and transportation.”
 
Sweden, like most of the transportation industries, was experiencing a need for professional drivers. The percentage of females was very low; estimated at about two percent. With smaller trucks, shorter routes, and more home time, the job should have been more attractive to both men and women. 
 
However, efforts to address this need through secondary education have been successful, especially in northern Sweden at the Lapland Gymnasieskola. Here, girls are guided into traditionally male careers at a rate that exceeds the boys, with forty to sixty percent of them preparing for jobs such as mining and transportation.
 
Female drivers are valued for their aversion to risk and their exceptional treatment of the vehicles, where, according to a TV Gallivere article, “they treat the large vehicles better than male colleagues, they force them not as hard and take [fewer] chances.”
 
Bill Rehn, of TYA Sweden, the Vocational Training and Working Environment Council, is excited about the efforts to encourage girls to consider careers in trucking. “We now have eighteen percent of women in the secondary school for transport truck driving and that is very good.” He added, “Twelve percent of the employment of new truck drivers in Sweden [are] women.”
 
Although the Elders in The Giver didn’t give children the option to choose, they did make their determinations based on talents and skills. Perhaps we should look at the Swedish model.
 
With a projected 100,000 new drivers needed annually, we must to reconsider the way we recruit and train the next generation of drivers. Encouraging the next generation to look at careers as professional drivers by prompting them into vocational programs during their high school years instead seems to be working.
 
Maybe Sweden’s model provides a needed solution to the future driver shortage.

There’s an association for that!

Women In Trucking Association is an organization whose mission is to “encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry.”

Dictionary.com defines an association as “an organization of people with a common purpose and having a formal structure” or “a connection of ideas…correlation of elements of perception, reasoning, or the like.” Continue reading

Walk through a trade show and see what big hearts are in the trucking industry.

Anyone who thinks the trucking industry has an image problem needs to step up to the challenge and help change it. In fact, at the recent Great American Trucking Show (GATS), there were many opportunities to see how much positive change professional drivers and those who support them initiate.

You might have heard about the ALS (amyotropic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease) Ice Bucket Challenge. Cari Baylor of Baylor Trucking hosted the challenge during the three days of the truck show. The ice and water were quite a contrast to the one hundred plus temperatures in Dallas that week. Many drivers and company and vendor representatives took the challenge and were drenched under the bucket’s cold contents. Continue reading

What does a professional driver love about his or her job?

What attracts someone to the trucking industry?  Is it the freedom of being on the road or is it the above average pay?  Maybe it’s just a last resort for many who are unable to find or keep a job elsewhere.

The Women In Trucking Association, along with University of Wisconsin-Stout graduate students wanted to know the answer to this question.  So, four students in Dr. Jeanette Kersten’s Organizational Development Class conducted research to find out what brings men and women into the trucking industry, as well as what keeps them here. Continue reading