Women In Trucking Assn. president & CEO Ellen Voie announced that with 2011 coming to a close she is proud to publicize the organization’s accomplishments and provide insight into next year’s goals for the fledgling organization.
Established in 2007, the mission of Women in Trucking is to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the industry. The growing organization now has more than 1,800 corporate and individual members in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and England.
Some of the organization’s highlights from 2011 include:
• Establishment of the first annual “Influential Woman of the Year” award sponsored by Navistar. Rochelle (Gorman) Bartholomew, CEO of Cal-Ark Trucking was the recipient. Nominations will soon be accepted for the 2012 award.
• More than 200 professional female drivers were honored at WIT’s second annual “Salute to the Women Behind the Wheel” celebration held in conjunction with the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky. NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman traveled to the event from her office in Washington DC in trucks driven by Women in Trucking members.
• Voie visited DOT Secretary Ray LaHood in Washington to discuss issues concerning women in the transportation industry.
• WIT representatives visited the White House in June to meet with agents from the Dept. of Justice, the vice president’s office and the White House Council on Women and Girls to address violence against women in the trucking industry.
• Voie was invited to participate in the National Transportation Safety Board annual public forum to evaluate safety issues in transportation.
• The U.S. DOT hosted a roundtable discussion to address issues that affect women in blue-collar transportation related careers. This group is continuing to meet to focus on how to bring more women into traditionally male dominated occupations.
• Voie participated in the Drug Testing Advisory Board hearing in July to share concerns related to the use of urine drug testing procedures and to support the use of hair follicle analysis for pre-employment testing.
• The Women In Trucking Scholarship Foundation was formed to provide scholarships to members seeking careers in a technical area, leadership training, professional driving, and safety.
• An “Anti-Harassment Employment Guide” for carriers was created by J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. and provided free to WIT corporate members.
• A “Salute to the Women Behind the Wheel” commercial aired on ESPN during the Humanitarian Bowl and will be shown again this month.
“The coming year will bring lots of new opportunities to create positive change for the trucking industry,” Voie said. Some of the activities WIT has planned for 2012 include:
• WIT is working on creating a toll free crisis line for the trucking industry to use for issues affecting professional drivers (safety, harassment, equipment).
• WIT will have a blog dedicated to focus on issues concerning women in the trucking industry, hosted by Con-way, Inc.
• Women In Trucking will be presenting at the National Research Board conference in January to discuss challenges in equipment design for women transportation workers.
• The Transport Women Australia conference will feature Voie as its keynote speaker in Melbourne in June.
• The “Best Recruiting Ad” contest will be launched to recognize companies for positive recruiting efforts that reflect the diversity of the work force.
• WIT is developing a publication that focuses on how to recruit women (what are women looking for in ads, where to advertise, etc.)
• The Women In Trucking website will be revitalized and recreated to be more user friendly and will offer more educational and interactive ways to serve our members.
“We are truly excited about the challenges we have addressed in the past year and are looking forward to a better environment for everyone in the trucking industry as we move into the new year,” Voie said.For more information, go to http://www.WomenInTrucking.org.