TORONTO, Ont. — About 135 delegates attended the first ever Women with Drive Leadership Summit, an initiative of Trucking HR Canada.
Sessions held throughout the day focused on recruiting, retaining and mentoring women in Canada’s trucking industry.
The day kicked off with a gift from federal Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, Kellie Leitch, who provided $421,720 in federal funding to develop mentorship programs for women and build a formal business case to promote the hiring of other underrepresented demographic groups.
The lunchtime speaker was the inspiring Brenda Andress, commissioner of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. Organizers were pleased with the turnout and response.
“This summit offered valuable insight that will help employers reach out to women and answer the intensifying shortage of skilled workers,” says Angela Splinter, CEO of Trucking HR Canada.
“This event was one of the first steps in a three-year action plan we have adopted to address the shortage of women in our industry,” added Cavalier Transport’s Vicki Stafford, chair of the national advisory committee guiding the Women with Drive project. “Ongoing education around this issue will help to eliminate workplace barriers, promote opportunities, and open new career paths to women.”
Women account for 48% of the workers in Canada’s labour force, but just 3% of the nation’s truck drivers, mechanics, technicians and cargo workers. They are also underrepresented among industry managers (11%), parts technicians (13%), dispatchers (18%), and freight claims/safety and loss prevention specialists (25%).
Below are an assortment of photos from the event.
– All photos courtesy Trucking HR Canada
Organizers prepare for the arrival of delegates.
Vicki Stafford (left) of Cavalier Group and Angela Splinter of Trucking HR Canada welcome Brenda Andress, the luncheon speaker.
Brenda Andress, keynote speaker and head of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.
(L-r) Driver Joanne Mackenzie, Minister Kellie Leitch, Angela Splinter and David Bradley.
Truck News editor James Menzies interviews Minister Kellie Leitch.
Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, prepares to drive Joanne Mackenzie’s Peterbilt around the hotel parking lot.
Angela Splinter shares a laugh with panelists Vicki Stafford, Vicki McKibbon and Cynthia Clark.
Evan MacKinnon addresses the room on mentorship programs.
Pro driver Joanne Mackenzie (left) pictured with Minister Leitch.
Caroline Blais of Kriska catches up with friends at the reception.
Attendees enjoyed a glass of wine at the end of the event.
(L-R) Anne McKee, Trailer Wizards, Kathy Penner, Truck News, Mike McCarron, Wheels Group.
Attendees pose for a photo.
The end-of-day reception sponsored by Navistar was well attended.
Organizers welcome delegates.
Minister Leitch participates in a roundtable.
Mike McCarron mingles.
A nice spread was put on during the Navistar-sponsored reception.
There was plenty of mingling and networking at the Summit.
Friends share a toast at the networking reception.
The event was packed all day.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies