Jodi Godfrey, a research associate with the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI), was surprised by the number of women who leave the transportation industry once they have children.
“There are not enough policies in place to allow women to take time off for childbearing. The companies doing it the best are the companies that have very proactive paternal and maternal policies,” she said.
XPO Logistics has addressed the issue by offering free, comprehensive supplemental care for new parents and expectant mothers as well as pregnancy-care and family-leave policies.
The company is focusing on the compensation that supports a woman and her family, and the benefits that safeguard their health and well-being, said Josephine Berisha, senior vice president of compensation and benefits for XPO.
“Women aren’t asking for exceptional treatment. They want pay and benefits that meet their needs. We’re happy to be a leader in the industry in terms of hiring women, but we’re determined to keep that momentum going,” she explained.
Kristi Williams, chief financial officer for Lone Star Transportation, stressed that women, like all workers, want an equal opportunity for career advancement. “At Lone Star, women find we take them and their ambitions seriously. We create a transparent career path that can lead to career advancement and more money,” she said.
Longtime driver Ingrid Brown noted that her “steering wheel doesn’t know what gender is holding it and said shippers are ambivalent about what gender of driver picks up and delivers loads. I get paid the same thing any guy does that takes a load. I don’t get loaded last because I’m a woman. I’m fairly treated.”