Gender Diversity is Addressed at Women In Trucking Association Conference

Attendees Learn from Leading Authorities, Best Practices, Networking Opportunities

Plover, WI – Nov. 20, 2017 – The Women In Trucking Association, Inc. (WIT) held its third annual Accelerate! conference and expo earlier this month. More than 500 women and men attended the event in Kansas City Nov. 6-8, 2017, which reflects record-breaking attendance levels.

“It is truly exciting to see so many women and men engaged in the issue of gender diversity,” said Ellen Voie, WIT president and CEO. “The positive energy and supportive atmosphere at the conference established the perfect environment for talking frankly about common challenges, sharing best practices, expressing our pride in the industry, and empowering us all to be our best.”

Several key themes emerged from the three-day event:

  • Workforce productivity can be significantly improved and costs lowered through workplace satisfaction, clear communication and managed expectations, according to keynote Valerie Alexander.
  • Providing women with internal support programs that encourage internal succession and progress will help companies to be more productive and innovative. A leadership group with Peterbilt discussed how they’re successfully bridging the gap for women in the trucking industry through its Women’s Initiative Network, which was launched approximately two years ago.
  • While progress is being made, the trucking industry continues to lag behind other industries in gender diversity, according to Keera Brooks of Sawgrass Logistics, who conducted a survey for WIT on best practices for recruiting and retaining more women in the industry. Interestingly, the survey found that 83 percent of women enter the trucking industry because they were referred by a friend or family member, yet men are far more likely to recommend trucking as a career path than women in the industry.
  • Top women leaders in the transportation industry today are passionate about the industry and love what they do. They are committed to creating a corporate culture marked by integrity, communication, and respect.

Over the course of the conference, attendees had the opportunity to attend dozens of educational sessions and learn from leading authorities such as Kim Isenhower, president of Nationwide Transportation & Logistics Services; Courtney George, corporate recruiter for Saia; Steve Kane, CEO of Rolling Strong; Erin Luke, fleet sales manager for Peterbilt Motor Company; and Annette Sandberg, principal of TransSafe Consulting and former administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Three finalists for the 2017 “Influential Woman in Trucking” award shared their insights on career satisfaction and productivity, including Traci Crane, senior manager of compliance at CFI, and Tana Greene, CEO of Blue Bloodhound. At the end of the panel discussion, Daphne Jefferson, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was named the recipient of the 2017 “Influential Woman in Trucking” award.

The conference also provided attendees the opportunity to network with others in the industry at evening receptions, participate in group discussions on topics of interest at roundtable luncheons, and meet with approximately 70 industry providers at the exhibition, including human resources and talent management providers, carriers, third-party logistics providers, OEMs, consultants, and technology innovators. WIT also celebrated its 10th anniversary during one of the receptions.

“This conference really showcases the vibrant community of Women In Trucking members and corporate partners,” said Voie. “We’re looking forward to continue growing the conference and raising awareness for women’s issues in the transportation industry. When we work together, our potential is limitless!”

The 2018 Accelerate! Conference & Expo is scheduled to be held Nov. 12-14, 2018, in Dallas, Texas.


Photos can be downloaded from a WIT Shutterfly album:  Print-quality photos can be requested.

About Women In Trucking Association, Inc.

Women In Trucking Association, Inc. is a nonprofit association 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. Membership is not limited to women, as 17 percent of its members are men who support the mission. Women In Trucking is supported by its members and the generosity of Gold Level Partners: Arrow Truck Sales, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, Daimler Trucks North America, BMO Transportation Finance, Expediter Services, Great Dane, J.B. Hunt Transport, Ryder System, Inc., and Walmart. Follow WIT on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. For more information, visit or call 888-464-9482.