Driver Ambassador: Finding Purpose After Loss
by Kellylynn McLaughlin, on Nov 3, 2021 10:47:31 AM
Take a listen to the podcast version below.
As those in the trucking industry know, the Post-Trip Inspection is a time to check and see if anything has changed with your equipment since you began your trip and if there are any items that need to be addressed before continuing on down the road. It’s a time to reflect, assess, and plan what’s next.
I recently had two immediate family members pass away. Maybe you noticed my reduced number of posts or my usual vivaciousness and energy a bit lacking. I just didn’t know what to say and was wondering if I had been talking into a void. The weight of family members passing made me start to wonder if my voice mattered. I didn’t so much find that my direction was lacking, I just felt tired, redundant, and inconsequential. I’ve said before - Where are you going? What’s your plan? And for a moment, I was doubting my plan and purpose.
It is certainly not unique to experience the loss of someone these days during the height of a pandemic. Death is certainly part of the circle of life and I’m aware we can’t escape that fate. BUT I remembered it is really what we do on this earth while we are here that matters and in the end it’s what defines us.
I have been reflecting on what I want to leave behind when I “go” and to be remembered for? How about you…what do you want to be remembered for?
So, let’s turn this ship around from “loss” and redirect it to “impact”. I’m quite certain our founder, Ellen Voie, will be remembered as a woman who made a difference for her contributions to the trucking industry! Our organization is designed to share our stories, inspire, and leave a positive impact for women in the trucking industry. The reason I became a WIT member is because I wanted to be one of “them”! Them - being those folks wearing the red shirts representing the strength and value women were bringing to the freight movement industry.
I found myself motivated to get my “A” game on and join the WIT shakers and movers! Each year I look forward to the Accelerate! Conference where I can network, re-energize, get inspired and hear the WIT Influential Woman of the Year finalists share their motivations and stories! So many exceptional professionals and out of the box thought leaders attend who are making big strides and doing great things.
People often say to me when I tell them I’m a truck driver - “Hey there sure are a lot of women driving trucks these days!” I just laugh sometimes (in my mind - not out loud). Really?! There are 3.5 million drivers and only 10% are female. Yes, that’s way up from 3% just 5 years ago but even the best companies with an above average number of female drivers barely hit 20% female drivers. There is a lot of room for improvement for sure.
It’s been very heartwarming to hear so many news conversations revolving around the logistics issues lately…just makes me happy! Many of our members who are making a difference have been interviewed and highlighted in the news! I’m thrilled that the supply chain and professional drivers are the focus of news articles and conversations both across the nation and in people’s homes now! CNN, FOX, The Morning Show, President Biden, my friends…they are all talking about the supply chain. We need to take advantage of this opportunity for “press time” - one never knows when public interest will shift, and logistics will no longer be the hot topic!
I regularly peruse our social media posts and I’m always proud to see and interested to read about our monthly WIT Member of the Month! What a great way to highlight what some of us are doing to make a positive impact and a difference!
CNN recently said the logistics industry is the number 1 industry that people are entering today in this epic time of career changes!
Keep on speaking up for women in logistics and especially drivers. Let’s work together to accept nothing less than respect, humane working conditions, high quality safe training environments, representation at the decision-making tables, living wages, and professional development opportunities for our career paths.
I know that there are many wonderful people out there doing great things in the world. I want to encourage you all to strive to be remembered in part for our contributions to make this a better place to work and change the direction of the freight movement industry…in a good way!
I am getting my mojo back. I’m getting reinvigorated. I’ll really be invigorated and ready to roll after the Accelerate! Conference. I know I want to go down and be remembered as a female driver who made a difference for other professional drivers, a woman who conquered her challenges, a valued team member, an inspiration to others (especially her daughters), a leader and mentor, and a kind friend with a good heart!
Join us - Let’s change the supply chain world!
Accelerate! 2021 Dallas November 7-9 in person & November 17-18 Virtually
As a member of the Women In Trucking Association, stay on top of emerging trends and business issues impacting transportation, logistics, and supply chain operations, learn the importance of gender diversity in the workplace and the need for more women drivers, and see best practices in encouraging the employment of women in the trucking industry. Learn More