This week I traveled to Australia to speak at a conference. On my flight from Sydney to Perth, I was pulled aside for additional screening for explosives. The agent passed a wand over my luggage, my shoes and my hands. He then put the wand into a reader before he let me go. I thanked him for doing his job and went on my way.
On my return flight, I was again “selected” for additional screening and went through the process again. I made a point to thank the agent for doing his job.
Many people would feel inconvenienced for being pulled aside for additional screening. However, these people are only doing their job. They are asked to pick travelers at random and check them for explosives. Did I enjoy the process? No . Did I appreciate the delay? No . However, I did appreciate the fact that these people were helping to keep us all safe by looking for potential explosive material. Continue reading →
March is Women’s History Month, so I thought this blog should be about the history of the Women In Trucking Association through my experience as the founder. I am repeatedly asked the question of why I started the organization, so here is my story.
First, I’ll go back many years to “set the stage.” I was one of the lucky people whose mom told me I could do anything I wanted, and there were no “girl” careers. She encouraged me when I took shop class instead of home ick (okay, home ec). I learned woodworking, welding, drafting and auto mechanics. Continue reading →
This blog is a little more personal than most. This morning I learned a first cousin (Rick) passed away, alone, in his apartment. He was divorced, and his children had moved on. He was found by a colleague who was concerned. He died alone. The details are still sketchy, but it’s still a sad story.
What makes this more tragic is that another one of my first cousins (Dave), on the other side of the family, passed away in the same way only a year ago. He was younger than me, but he drank heavily and made a lot of bad choices when it came to relationships. In fact, he had been separated for decades, but never made an effort to get a divorce. Yep, you got it; the ex-wife inherited everything, including the house and what little savings he had accumulated. Continue reading →
As we close the calendar pages on 2018, we wanted to take the opportunity to look back at the amazing growth and successes for Women In Trucking (WIT) Association this past year.
In January we started the weekly Women In Trucking Show on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Channel 146. Every Saturday, WIT President Ellen Voie interviews guests on topics as diverse as self defense, drones, trade show and so much more. This has given us the opportunity to reach an even great audience and to interact with current and potential members on the air.
We were also thrilled to announce a new platform on our website for our members to meet each other virtually and to interact online. The Engage Platform is fast becoming a way to share best practices, find solutions from other members and to just meet others with the same concerns or challenges. We recently launched the Engage App as well to reach even more of our members. Continue reading →
This year, we’d like to share our hopes for the coming year with ten ways to support the Women In Trucking Association mission to increase the percentage of women employed in the trucking industry.
#1 More carriers will start monitoring their percentages of female drivers and will set targets to increase those levels. They should hold recruiters, dispatchers, and everyone in management accountable for not only hiring more women, but retaining the ones they already have. Ten years ago, carriers insisted they didn’t care about the age, gender or race of their drivers. Now more and more companies are understanding why we should focus more on diversity. The WIT Index tracks progress in the percentage of over the road female drivers and although it’s increased to 7.89 percent in 2018 (up from 7.13 percent in 2017), we still have a long way to go. Continue reading →
The government defines a nontraditional career as one where over 75 percent of the workforce is of the opposite gender. We’ve always known that the trucking industry has been a nontraditional career choice for women, but we often point to diesel engines, time away from home and loading and unloading as reasons women aren’t interested.
If that is the case, then why do women only comprise twenty-six percent of jobs in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM. These jobs typically pay higher wages and have low levels of unemployment. Despite the efforts of groups like “Girls in Tech,” “Women in Technology,” and “Girls Who Code,” the number remain stubbornly low. Continue reading →
Every day the admins on the Women In Trucking Association Facebook page scan the posts for negativity, profanity and just plain nastiness. Every day someone is banned from the site because they can’t seem to keep his or her comments civil.
Why can’t we show more kindness, empathy and just be nice?
Believe it or not, there are biological reasons why our brains lean toward negativity. It goes back to the Stone Age and our tendency to be more concerned about survival than kindness. Avoiding a predator was crucial, so staying away from a tiger was more critical than petting a friendly dog. Continue reading →
Mark Harter has always loved trucks. As a teenager, he was intrigued by how trucks move aerodynamically, and he set up a wind tunnel in his parent’s garage. He entered the project in a science fair and won the Central Indiana Regional competition which took him all the way to the International Science and Engineering Fair in 1993.
When Mark turned 21, he earned his commercial driver’s license and began his career at a flatbed carrier. Later he delivered high-end cars for Horseless Carriage for many years. In fact, he has nearly one million accident-free miles behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer. Continue reading →