May of 2007, Ellen Voie founded the Women In Trucking Association (WIT) with a dream of making the industry better for women and all drivers. After four years, WIT and Ellen Voie have come a long way.
With over 1600 members comprised of both drivers, carriers and others in the trucking industry, WIT has become a ‘go to’ association for people to contact for information about driver’s issues, obstacles facing women in the trucking industry and about the increasing role of women within trucking. Ms Voie has met with FMCSA’s Anne Ferro, DOT’s Ray LaHood and NTSB’s Debra Hersman among others in Washington D.C. and is working with the Department of Justice on getting a crisis line in place for drivers in trouble with trainers or who have other major issues.
This year brought the second annual Salute to the Women Behind the Wheel event in Louisville KY at the Mid American Trucking Show. NTSB Chairperson Hersman was scheduled to speak at the event and Ms Voie was implemental in Ms Hersman making the journey to Louisville by truck, some driven by WIT members. During the event, WIT’s driver advisory committee, along with America’s Road Team met privately with Ms Hersman to talk about highway safety from the driver’s point of view.
WIT’s mission statement is “Women In Trucking was established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments, and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry”; Ms Voie is using the current interest in women’s issues to address issues faced by all drivers. After years of work and research, Ms Voie recently completed a white paper about training protocols for WIT’s corporate members concerning abuse by some trainers of their trainees of both genders.
What is next for WIT in the future? Under Ms Voie’s capable leadership, the sky is the limit, but be assured that she will continue taking WIT forward to put faces to the women who work in the trucking industry and to assist in any way the association can to remove obstacles facing women who want to advance within trucking.
By Sandy Long, email@example.com