The Women in Trucking (WIT) Association has announced plans to launch a Driver Ambassador program with various trucking companies to raise awareness and promote career opportunities for women in trucking, an industry that is predominantly male.
WIT has partnered with Schneider National and has named Kellylynn McLaughlin, a trainer with Schneider, to be the first Driver Ambassador for WIT.
“Trucking is an incredibly rewarding career, and there is so much opportunity, especially for women,” McLaughlin says. “As the Women In Trucking Driver Ambassador, it is my mission to effect change in this industry in a positive way for women and for men—for every driver.”
The decision for the Driver Ambassador program came before 2020 International Women’s Day. Women make up 47 percent of the workforce but only 18.2 percent of those in the trucking industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Women in Trucking Association describes itself on its website as “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.”
McLaughlin hopes to use her new platform to promote the association’s efforts of raising this percentage. She hopes to accomplish this by speaking before various groups such as driving schools, legislators, regulators, and people outside the industry to raise awareness of the potential trucking jobs women can have.
WIT chose McLaughlin as their first representative because as a truck driving trainer, she has experience speaking to large numbers of people while also speaking one-on-one in a way to make individuals understand. She also has the drive to do just that: before becoming the first Driver Ambassador for the WIT, she volunteered in Truckers Against Trafficking and other non-profit driving-related groups.
Women in Trucking hopes to use the Program to bring awareness not only for jobs as truck drivers to women, but jobs in the industry as a whole. On February 4th, McLaughlin spoke at an event at Central Tech Truck Driver Training, a school that trains not only truckers but also diesel mechanics.
WIT hopes to expand the Program beyond Schnieder and for it to become an industry-wide movement. Furthermore, Women in Trucking hope to expand the program further by introducing a WIT-branded trailer which will include a brand video promoting trucking, as well as other educational resources.
Only time will tell if the WIT Program will increase the count of female truck drivers and other positions in the industry. The Women in Trucking Association is not the only group trying to increase having more women in the industry, the FMCSA has recently drafted a proposal to survey women (and minority male) commercial motor vehicle drivers for their incidences of being victims of crime to see whether or not they are larger than for the average professional driver.