Women In Trucking Association Participates in White House Roundtable
by Women In Trucking Staff, on Dec 20, 2021 8:21:46 AM
Plover, WI – December 20, 2021 – The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) president and CEO Ellen Voie participated in a White House Roundtable discussion last week to address the driver shortage, and issues important to driver recruiting and retention. The session was hosted by U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Secretary of Labor, Marty Walsh, and White House Economic Council Director, Brian Deese.
Voie was one of 17 invited attendees which included the Teamsters, OOIDA, the America Trucking Associations, Commercial Vehicle Training Association, Trucking Alliance and FASTPORT. There were 10 carrier representatives who shared their efforts to attract a more diverse driver force, including veterans, younger drivers, more racially diverse drivers, and women. WIT’s mission is to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry.
WIT was asked to participate, in part, because it is a unique source of gender diversity data and perspective. Safety and harassment were topics of particular interest during the discussion. In fact, in a recent WIT survey of 426 drivers, 46 percent of respondents said they had an unwanted physical advance made toward them.
“We need to create a safer environment if we want to bring more women into this industry,” said Voie. “Our research has shown that women rate their level of safety as a female driver at 4.4 on a scale of ten,” Voie added, “this is unacceptable, as we should all feel safe in our work environment.”
Voie cited data showing that the recent WIT research showed that over 60% of female drivers felt unsafe at least once in the past year. Approximately 20 percent reported being threatened by a weapon and 4 percent said they had been raped.
The session also included an announcement to kick off a 90-day challenge to accelerate the expansion of registered apprenticeships. The notice also includes the launch of a task force to attract more women into the industry as outlined in the recent infrastructure bill as well as a task force to investigate predatory truck leasing arrangements.
The Department of Labor and Department of Transportation will be holding listening sessions with professional drivers, industry and labor leaders and advocates in the next 30 days. The Biden-Harris Administration has focused on addressing supply chain disruptions and this listening session was part of this effort to attract more drivers into the industry.
The creation of a women in trucking advisory committee at the FMCSA was a recent program included in the infrastructure bill and Voie is looking forward to participating.
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: Amazon, Arrow Truck Sales, Daimler Trucks North America, Expediter Services, FedEx Freight, Great Dane, J.B. Hunt Transport, Michelin North America, PACCAR, Penske Transportation Solutions, Ryder System, Walmart, and Waste Management. Follow WIT on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. For more information, visit www.womenintrucking.org or call 888-464-9482.