Tag Archives: Ellen Voie Blog

The value in networking

At a  Women In Trucking reception, two drivers sitting next to each other discovered that they worked for the same carrier.  As they left the event that evening, they vowed to stay in touch and maintain their newfound friendship.  These two women knew that they could learn from each other and lean on each other; they knew the value of networking.

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The way we spend our time defines who we are. Jonathan Estrin

With the new year around the corner, many of us make new year’s resolutions with the goal to improve something in our lives.  Maybe you want to lose a few pounds or get more exercise.  Those are the two top goals people set for the coming year.

Other resolutions include getting organized, learning a skill or hobby, quitting smoking, spending more time with family friends, traveling, or reading more and spending less money.  Those are all great goals, and if you are planning on making positive changes in your life, then make a New Year’s resolution. Continue reading

Research on drivers and safety!

For those of us in the trucking industry, we are all aware of the data suggesting that crashes involving commercial trucks are overwhelmingly caused by the non-professional driver.  Or, as we like to call them, the four wheelers.

There have been numerous studies about reckless behaviors for automobile drivers, but I recently came across a paper that explored the attitudes of truck drivers to those who aren’t operating a commercial vehicle.

The study interviewed 167 adult men (you read that right, no women were part of the research.)  Seventy of the respondents were not truck drivers, but the remainder were employees of a concrete manufacturing company.  The research was conducted in Israel, which has very few female drivers. However, I found the data very relevant and wanted to share the results. Continue reading

Check On Your Friends – Ellen Voie

#CheckOnYourFriends

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?

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Women In Trucking Facebook group celebrates ten years!

Ten years ago, Facebook was emerging as one of the top social media websites and Women In Trucking member, Sandy Long, recognized its potential.  She reached out and asked if she could start a WIT group on the site.  She wanted a place for female drivers to be able to ask questions, network and find new friends.  She saw the value in connecting drivers with technology.

Although Sandy passed away a few years ago, her legacy remains in the WIT Facebook group, which now includes nearly 11,000 individuals in the trucking industry.  Both men and women visit the group to talk about things that affect their roles as professional drivers. While the majority are truck drivers, there are others who are on the site to learn or to network.

You may be surprised to learn that the page is moderated by professional drivers.  They take turns watching the site for compliance.  In fact, while WIT staff check in on the site, the admins are vigilant in ensuring the posters follow the rules, which they must agree to before approval is granted into the closed group.

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We’re listening to our members

The Women In Trucking Association board of directors has a goal to be a resource to the industry.  Whether that means trucking companies, drivers, the government or our members, we want to provide you with the best information (tools) to reach your objectives in creating a more gender diverse workforce.

In 2017 we teamed with Sawgrass Logistics to learn about best practices in hiring female drivers. We learned a lot and have changed our programs to reflect these challenges. However, we continue to survey our members to find out what they want from us, their association.

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Don’t be the victim of a scammer

The email started innocent enough.  The question from the CEO asked if the employee had a moment to “get a task done.” The sender asked the reader to purchase eight eBay gift cards valued at $200 each for a total of $1,600.  The employee was then asked to scratch off the silver lining and send a photo of the codes immediately.

The employee was new at the company and complied with the request, which, unfortunately, was from a scammer.  The cards were purchased before the employee realized it was a scam; fortunately, the codes were never sent to the spammer. 

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2020 New Year’s Resolutions

If you’re like many of us, you probably made at least one New Year’s resolution recently.  According to TheQuint.com, the most common new year’s resolution is to get in shape, or at least, to make an effort to work out.  That’s probably why January is the top month for sales of exercise gear and clothing. 

Why is January 1st such a popular time for us to try and make changes in our lives?  A new year offers us a fresh start, and a way to put our past behaviors to rest.  In 1740, John Wesley, an English clergyman, held the first Covenant Renewal Service on New Year’s Eve.  The service was a time for thinking about past mistakes and resolving to do better in the coming year.

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Is the playing field level for women at the loading dock?

Each year the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) asks drivers and carriers about their top concerns.  As you can imagine, the drivers list differs from the trucking companies’ list, but some issues do affect both groups significantly.

Detention and delays at customer facilities was one of the issues that was important to both groups.  It was the fifth concern for drivers and number sixth on the list for carriers. Delays at the loading docks reduce a driver’s productivity and decrease the level of compensation for both drivers and their companies.

ATRI gathers date through an online survey website but they also collect responses in person at the Mid-America Trucking Show each spring.  This year they received over 1,100 responses from drivers. Thirteen percent of the drivers were female, which is actually much higher than the industry average of ten percent. Most of the respondents were company drivers, but surveys were collected from owner-operators and independent contractors as well.

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What is your intent?

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright once said, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

In this age of social media which allows anonymity and seems to breed contempt, there are too many people who hurl insults at one another without much thought to how it reflects on her (or him).  

I read some of these nasty or offensive comments and it makes me wonder: What is the intent?  Is the poster trying to offend people or is she just a negative person all the time? Is everyone so angry they just react to everything with rage?


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