What is Your Intent?

by Ellen Voie, on Oct 30, 2019 8:13:00 PM

Closeup side profile portrait upset sad skeptical unhappy serious woman talking texting on phone displeased with conversation isolated city background. Negative human emotion face expression feeling

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright once said, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” 

In this age of social media which allows anonymity and seems to breed contempt, there are too many people who hurl insults at one another without much thought to how it reflects on her (or him). 

I read some of these nasty or offensive comments and it makes me wonder: What is the intent? Is the poster trying to offend people or is she just a negative person all the time? Is everyone so angry they just react to everything with rage? 

The legitimate mission of the Women In Trucking Association is fundamentally critical to help impact the lives of women and positively impact the industry at large: To encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry. As the Women In Trucking Association continues to grow and become more influential in the industry, we have become a greater target for these attacks. They mostly are dramatically incorrect and misguided, but in today’s social media climate, a lot of drivers fall for the misinformation.

One group adopted our name and added the word REAL to their association. Do they honestly believe we aren’t a real group or real people with a legitimate desire to help each other and advance the industry? They hurl insults and accuse us of such unbelievable “crimes” we just have to shrug our shoulders in disbelief. Anyone who copies a name and then attacks the original group should remember, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

For us, success for our organization will simply advance our mission – and the entire industry clearly is behind our passion and mission. We’ve increased our membership year over year, hosted a conference that continues to break records, and added resources for our members that make their dues a worthwhile investment. 

Another group started in Canada and claimed we didn’t represent them, despite our hundreds of Canadian members who have joined and remained active with the association. We have a Canadian Image Team and attend numerous events north of the border. In fact, we’ve spread to 10 countries so far, and Canada is our second largest group. We welcome them with open arms into our organization.

All of these groups, including numerous social media groups, claim to share our mission, which is simply to increase the percentage of women employed in the trucking industry.

So why attack one another? Or, as Madeline Albright asks, why aren’t we helping one another?

Dr. Tracy Vaillaincourt, Ph.D. in an article in Red Shoe Movement, claims the most common profile of the female bully is someone who is very competitive AND is an envious woman who has some type of power in the workplace. In fact, a study at the University of Michigan in the 1970s found that women who were successful in male dominated industries were more likely to oppose the success of other women in their field. The researchers claimed that the women defended their positions because they felt the opportunities were limited and they needed to slam the door on women following them for the few available positions at the top.

The study also found that women are less likely to confront a female bully than men would. That makes women easier targets (literally and figuratively). 

So, back to Madeline Albright and her admonishment to help one another. If each of the groups mentioned above really cared more about helping women entering the trucking industry instead of attacking the most influential organization, they would work WITH us, and not against us. We’re here to stay. 

Which leads me to believe the goal isn’t to help their female drivers, it’s to climb to the top while shoving others behind. Remember, blowing out another’s candle doesn’t make yours shine any brighter. 

The title of this blog is called, “What’s your intent?” Is your intent to create a more diverse workforce in the trucking industry, or is your goal to kick at your sisters who share the same passion because you want power?

Think about it.

Topics:LeadershipProfessional DevelopmentEllen'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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