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Women’s committee holds first meeting

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – The show floor at the 2014 edition of Truck World saw parades of Hooters girls and more than one booth populated by spokesmodels in micro-skirts and child-sized T-shirts, but it was in the conference meeting room where...



MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – The show floor at the 2014 edition of Truck World saw parades of Hooters girls and more than one booth populated by spokesmodels in micro-skirts and child-sized T-shirts, but it was in the conference meeting room where the women who actually work in the industry met with the goal of advancing the role of women in Canadian trucking.

Over 20 women attended the inaugural meeting of Supporting Women in Trucking, a new national advisory committee established by Trucking HR Canada. The goal of the committee is to educate women about careers in trucking, identify challenges and barriers to career paths and to promote recruiting and retention practices which support women in the workforce.

To that end, members established the first steps for the committee’s action plan, set timelines for its list of planned activities and named its first leaders: Vicki Stafford, vice-president of resource development at Cavalier Transportation Services, was named the chairperson and Linda Young, vice-president of HR/people development at Bison Transport, was named vice-chairperson.

After the initial meeting, the committee hosted a reception, attended by a variety of industry representatives. During a presentation at the reception, David Bradley, president and CEO of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) and president & CEO of Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) commented on the need for a women’s centred organization, and promised the CTA and OTA would be very supportive of the committee.

“I come from the generation where equality for all people became part of the consciousness,” he said. “I’ve always been surrounded by, worked with and worked for strong female role models, so I have questioned if we need this, but I don’t walk in your shoes. And the numbers don’t lie.”

The numbers he referred to include some of the employment statistics that show just how under-represented women are in the trucking industry.

As Angela Splinter, CEO of Trucking HR Canada pointed out, “Only three percent of Canada’s truck drivers, mechanics, technicians and cargo workers are women.

“Any solution to the trucking industry’s intensifying shortage of personnel will clearly involve reaching out to this largely underrepresented group. Women also account for just 11% of managers, 13% of parts technicians, 18% of dispatchers, and 25% of freight claims/safety and loss prevention specialists.”

In addressing the crowd, newly chosen chair Vicki Stafford told the audience about her experience entering the industry from a non-related profession (teaching) and spoke about the range of skills women offer the trucking industry.

“As women, we don’t necessarily understand what we can bring to the table,” she said.

As for the first meeting, she was pleased with what the committee had achieved.

“We have laid some great ground work for future success,” she said adding that it will “definitely achieve great things.”


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4 Comments » for Women’s committee holds first meeting
  1. Bev Plummer says:

    Hi Caroline, Yes I too saw the “Lot Lizard” oops sorry you called them Hooter girls and was not impressed, and when I finally found “The Women In Trucking” booth I found one lone woman from Wisconsin valiantly trying to answer questions from Canadian women!
    I introduced myself and told her I was a retired long haul driver she was glad to see me lol.
    What’s up with that !! I think it was very unfair to put that responsibility onto a person from another country who at best only had second hand information to pass on.
    I thought she did a good job but I don’t think the big truck shows in the U.S would have a Canadian woman in this position.
    The woman in that booth should have at least been from a Canadian Trucking company, a dispatcher, HR, or even,,,,,,,,a driver.
    After over 4 hours at the show I never did find out where the big WIT meeting was being held, but it was Saturday.

    Anyway it’s a start, there’s always next year!

    Bev Plummer
    Professional Driver Ret.

    P.S How come when Americans come up here they always say they are “Going to Canada”
    When Canadians go to the U.S we name the State and sometimes the city?

  2. Truck News says:

    Bev,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I used the term Hooters girls, because they were wearing the uniforms of that notorious restaurant chain.

    Sorry you missed the meeting. It was held on Friday. But if you want to get involved, contact any of the people listed as members on the website http://www.truckinghr.com/en/content/supporting-women-freight-transportation or get in touch with the TruckingHR team. I’m sure Angela or Tamara would love to hear from you. http://www.truckinghr.com/en/content/cthrc-staff I’m

    Carolyn

  3. Bev Plummer says:

    Hi Caroline, I tried both those sites, the first is for buying courses and the second one could not be found. Bev

  4. Louise Clements says:

    Im interested in knowing about future meetings.
    Maybe a you tube intro with a word on how things are going.
    Bravo!
    I’m a Truck Driver since 2000 off and on.
    Now employed by Jed Express South Mountain Ontario.
    Good luck in your endevour to have more women in the transport industry.
    Sincerely
    Louise Clements.

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