LeadHERtrucking: Empowering Success Behind the Wheel

by Ellen Voie, on Aug 31, 2021 6:18:48 PM


Oprah Winfrey once said, “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” We know that mentors are important to each of us in advancing our careers and finding the hope inside ourselves. The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) launched a trial program focused on matching female drivers new to the industry with women who have been behind the wheel for years.

In an effort to understand the needs of female commercial drivers, WIT partnered with Sawgrass Logistics to conduct research identifying their challenges. One of the questions involved their driver training and whether they were offered a mentor or not. Unfortunately, 84 percent said they had not been given the option to work with a mentor. Those drivers who were provided with a mentor reported that twelve percent were matched with a male mentor and only three percent were given a female mentor.

It’s no wonder the turnover rate hovers around ninety percent in the trucking industry. When a driver completes her training, she has so many questions about choosing a carrier, staying in touch with her family, or tips for financial and personal health. Where can she turn for answers?

The Women In Trucking Association partnered with the LeadHERAlliance to launch a trial ten-month program. Female drivers new to the industry paired with a more seasoned driver who was willing to take the time and effort to share her expertise, knowledge and skills with her mentee. 

Each month the women worked with their matched partner in one-on-one meetings as well as with the entire group through an online gathering. There was a presentation by an expert who covered various subjects each session. The topics ranged from how to choose the best carrier, how to stay healthy on the road and so much more. 

The Women In Trucking Scholarship Foundation invited many of their new or recent driver training students to participate in the program. The truck driver training associations were also in support of this initiative and encouraged their students to become involved.

Shirley Gray, who started out in 1991 as a company driver and then moved on to leased operator, owner operator, and independent contractor, signed up as a mentor. Her goal was to “give back” to others and help them become successful drivers and potential future owner operators!

Women in the industry are still a minority and LeadHERtrucking helped us elevate their experiences as we attract them into transportation careers. 

Topics:Ellen's Blog

About Women In Trucking

The Women In Trucking Association is a non-profit organization with the mission to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments, and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the industry.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in articles within the WIT Blog are those of the authors/submitters and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the Women In Trucking Association.

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