ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – Women drivers in Western Canada were recognized today (May 12) during Truxpo 2018 for what they bring to the trucking industry.
The Owner-operator’s Business Association of Canada (OBAC) and Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada (WTFC), along with the B.C. Trucking Association (BCTA), honored 23 female drivers with the first Western Canadian Salute to Women Behind the Wheel.
Combined, the women boasted 232 years of driving experience.
The event has been held annually in the U.S. by Women In Trucking (WIT) during the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., and was held for the first time in Canada in 2016 during Truck World in Toronto. OBAC and WTFC have also partnered with WIT to host a total of now four salutes in Canada.
During the event, Dave Earle, president and CEO of the BCTA, encouraged those being recognized to talk to the women in their lives who were in the industry or looking to enter the world of trucking.
“Hold your hands up and be that example that women want to talk to,” said Earle.
Earle said coming from a construction background he was well aware of the struggles to get more women into the trucking industry.
Joanne Ritchie, director of OBAC, said the collaboration of groups involved with bringing the salute to Canada share a common goal of trying to get more women into the industry, while celebrating those who have chosen commercial driving as a career.
“We’re making history here,” said Ritchie, adding that the women being recognized showed how female drivers can thrive and enjoy a career behind the wheel.
Western Canadian Salute to Women Behind the Wheel plans to return to the next Truxpo event in 2020 hopefully, as Ritchie and Earle pointed out, with even more women to salute.