Tag Archives: Women in Trucking Association

You can help combat modern day slavery 

When Liz was six years old her mother sold her into the sex industry with the advice to “smile, look pretty, and do whatever he says if you love me.”  For the rest of her childhood, she endured constant abuse until she was able to escape. 

Now, Liz shares her story as the Field Trainer at Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), which is a resource to combat human trafficking in the trucking industry.  TAT has a presence in both the United States and Canada and offers numerous ways to educate those of us who work in transportation careers.


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Combatting sexual harassment in trucking

The Women In Trucking Association strives to be a resource for the trucking industry.  This means we spend a great deal of time collecting data from our members.  Everything from recruiting and retention to harassment is analyzed and the results are either White Papers, webinars, or benchmarking information.

Late last year we conducted a survey on harassment and over 400 drivers responded.  The results were disturbing.  Nearly seventy percent of drivers claimed verbal harassment and nearly half said they had been verbally threatened at least once.  Shockingly, 57 percent reported receiving unwanted physical advances and six percent claimed they had been raped.

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Let’s talk about turnover!

The word turnover in the trucking industry does NOT mean a flakey pastry filled with fruit.  Unfortunately, it describes a reality pertaining to the revolving door for our professional drivers.  Current estimates place the turnover rate at large carriers at 89 percent.  That means a trucking company with five thousand drivers needs to HIRE almost 4,500 drivers EVERY YEAR to maintain their current fleet. 

The American Trucking Associations explains turnover as a number that, “accurately measures drivers moving within carriers.”  They stress that these drivers aren’t leaving the industry, but just finding a different company.

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Fierceness and female drivers

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.

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Support in advancing our mission

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.

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Women In Trucking joins broad coalition calling for passage of legislation to promote service in transportation.

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.

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For Sale By Owner

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.

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What I learned from my “wearable”

I never thought I could be friends with a piece of technology that is exceptionally nosey.  I’m a pretty private person, and the thought of sharing my physical data makes me pretty uncomfortable.

Sharing my sleeping patterns, my eating habits, and how often my heart rate was elevated isn’t my idea of privacy.  However, we recently partnered with Rolling Strong to do a wellness competition, and I donned a Fitbit Versa for the challenge.

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HERoes of the Highway

Do you remember when you were a child and someone would ask you what you wanted to be when you grew up?  The typical elementary school response was firefighter, police officer, teacher, doctor, pilot, or even astronaut cited by children.

For many of you reading this blog, perhaps you already knew you wanted to drive a truck or work in supply chain when you were older.  I’m guessing you were in the minority.  Most of the occupations children mentioned had high profiles and were considered more glamorous than working in the trucking industry.

Professional drivers have often been the “invisible” ones on the road.  When you do your job well and are operating in a safe and efficient manner, no one seems to notice you.  It’s only when a motorist thinks you are going too fast, too slow, or driving erratically when they seem to pay attention to the eighteen wheelers alongside them.

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Supporting Drivers During Tough Times

The trucking industry has long been a male-dominated environment, and although things are changing, it’s still predominantly men behind the wheel, in the corner office, and the shop.  As women are drawn to the industry, they are often unprepared to deal with some of the issues they may face, specifically when it comes to coping with diversity challenges.

Many of the women who are seeking tuition funding from the Women In Trucking Scholarship Foundation cite negative reasons for getting a CDL.  Often, they are survivors of domestic abuse, spousal harassment, or worse.  Yet, when we offer them a scholarship, education doesn’t include topics to include needed coping skills.

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