PLOVER, Wisc. – After a recent USA Today article zoned in on the underrepresentation of women as board members of publicly traded companies, Women in Trucking Association partnered with the University of Memphis students along with Dr. Stephanie Ivey to investigate the make up of board members in the trucking industry.
“The results were not surprising, considering the predominance of men employed in transportation careers,” said Dr. Ivey. “The findings provide a baseline for carriers to consider when looking at diversity initiatives in the boardroom and the corporate office.”
WIT and The University of Memphis found there are 15 carriers listed as publicly traded companies according to Bloomberg and of the 15 carriers, seven have no women serving on their boards of directors. Ten of the 15 show no women in the executive suite.
ArcBest Corporation, a member of Women In Trucking Association, with president and CEO, Judy McReynolds, took the lead in promoting women with a 27.3% representation on the ArcBest board of directors and 25% of women at the corporate level. Con-way came second at including women in the boardroom with 23.1% women in leadership roles. Celadon holds the third highest level of women as directors with 20%. While J.B. Hunt Transport Services, followed with 18.2% of women serving on their board of directors. All of these companies are all members of WIT at the corporate level.
WIT said that the visibility of women in executive positions is important to attracting women into the industry.
“The results, while disappointing, prove that we have a long way to go to find equity in the board rooms and C-Suites of America’s carriers,” said WIT’s president and CEO, Ellen Voie. “Carriers without women serving as directors or executives should make greater efforts to create a more diverse leadership team. If you’re looking for more female drivers for your fleet, you will need to create an environment where women are visibly leading these initiatives.”
WIT and the University of Memphis are currently working on a WIT Index, which will begin the process of tracking the percentage of women as leaders and as drivers for carriers in the United States.