Ellen Voie founded Women In Trucking with the goal to promote the employment of women in this industry, remove obstacles that might keep them from succeeding, and celebrate the successes of its members.
My son’s close friend and future business partner ended their relationship when he recently took his own life. They had been buddies for many years and were both passionate about working on their cars together. They were in the early stages of forming a partnership to build a shop to diagnose and fix automotive issues. My son was devasted. Andrew was only 29.
A few days later a good friend of mine lost his young son to suicide. Patrick was a former Marine who had served for five years. When he ended his life, he was employed as a truck driver at the same carrier with his dad. What can you say to someone who is burying a 24-year-old child?
Oprah Winfrey once said, “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” We know that mentors are important to each of us in advancing our careers and finding the hope inside ourselves. The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) is offering a program focused on matching female drivers who are new to the industry, with women who have been behind the wheel for years.
In an effort to understand the needs of female commercial drivers WIT partnered with Sawgrass Logistics to conduct research identifying their challenges. One of the questions involved their driver training and whether they were offered a mentor or not. Unfortunately, 84 percent said they had not been given the option to work with a mentor. Those drivers who were provided with a mentor reported that twelve percent were matched with a male mentor and only three percent were given a female mentor.
If you were asked to name the fiercest animal in the animal kingdom, how would you respond? Would your initial reaction be to say it would be a bear, a lion, or a tiger? How about a snake or crocodile?
Notice I used the word, “fiercest,” and not words like intimidating, scary or deadly. One of the definitions of fierce is, “intense in activity or feeling, vigorous or ardent.” I used this term because I think the most amazing and intense and vigorous animal is the hummingbird.
For fourteen years the Women In Trucking Association has been the only organization whose mission is to encourage and advance the employment of women in trucking. We have always represented ALL women in the industry, or as we like to say, the women who design, build, fix, drive, or own trucks.
Since 2007, we have been the lone voice for our members, but now that is changing. We are being joined by other groups that share our goal to bring more women into the industry. We are extremely proud to be an integral part of three national initiatives.
As the need for professional drivers continues, the Women In Trucking Association (WIT) is joining with more than thirty groups to support federal funding to highlight careers in all areas of transportation.
The Promoting Service in Transportation Act (H.R. 3310 and S. 1681) asks legislators to authorize funding for the United States Department of Transportation (US DOT) to garner exposure for jobs in trucking, aviation, rail and maritime. They would create a series of public service announcements for print, broadcast and digital media to encourage these careers.
Although the Women In Trucking (WIT) Association was formed over fourteen years ago, there are still many people who don’t understand our mission and who we represent. This article will answer the top frequently asked questions we receive.
First, let me remind you of our mission. The Women In Trucking Association is a nonprofit organization that was formed to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments, and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry.
March is Women’s History Month and the Women In Trucking Association was formed in March of 2007. Now, fourteen years later, how have we advanced our mission to “encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, address obstacles, and promote accomplishments?”
The first question we are usually asked by the media or potential members is in regard to the percentage of women employed in the trucking industry. After all, according to W. Edwards Deming, a statistician and quality control expert, You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”
In the late eighties American Express trademarked the slogan, “membership has its privileges.” In those days you had to pay a fee to carry their card, so they wanted you to feel as if you were a part of a preferred group. This adage applies to trade and professional organizations as well, as the focus is on acquiring and keeping members.
People often ask us how we “make money” as a nonprofit association. We are supported by our members who pay dues and in exchange, they expect something of value in return. What they value might vary from one person or company to the next.
“Don’t reinvent the wheel, just realign it.” Anthony J. D’Angelo, author
We’ve all heard the adage about reinventing the wheel. Why spend a great deal of time and effort on working through something that someone has already explored? When Women In Trucking Association was formed, we looked at other trade and professional organizations and determined what parts worked for us and what didn’t.
In fact, we took a lot of ideas from an organization called Women In Aviation International (WAI). At the time, I was working on my private pilot’s license and joined the WAI because I wanted to meet other women who fly. The airline industry isn’t all that different from the trucking industry, and both have a very small percentage of women behind in the cab or the cockpit. Many of our challenges are similar, so why not cooperate on our efforts?
Have you ever questioned how some terms or phrases are either outdated or don’t even make any sense? For example, when was the last time you actually “dialed” the phone? Except for your great aunt Edna, rotary dial phones are no longer in existence. We don’t dial anything; we just tap it or touch it.
What about taping a video? We don’t use tape anymore. We’re not using VCRs to record anything, we record it with bytes, not footage. Footage implies the film is measured in feet, but there aren’t any length measurements when it comes to recording a video.