All That's Trucking

Celebrating Strong Women in Trucking

After an election season where accusations of sexism were an issue, it's more important than ever to recognize the smart, talented, hard-working women in our midst.

November 16, 2016

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Many in the trucking industry are celebrating the election of Donald Trump as president, thanks to his promises to reduce industry regulation and invest in infrastructure (although his stance on trade could be a problem for an industry so dependent on it.)

As a female professional, however, I have to say I find our president-elect’s apparent attitude toward women troubling.

A month before the election, the Associated Press pointed out that the widely reported footage where Trump brags about groping women was only one example of sexist comments made by the man who is now our president-elect.

“It’s certainly not groundbreaking news that the early victories by the women on ‘The Apprentice’ were, to a very large extent, dependent on their sex appeal.” — Trump wrote in his 2004 book, “How To Get Rich.”

“It must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees.” — Trump to a female contestant in 2013 on an episode of “Celebrity Apprentice.”

“Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president? I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?” — Trump in a September 2015 interview with Rolling Stone, speaking about then-primary rival Carly Fiorina.

Even Rudy Giuliani, a top Trump advisor, called Trump’s comments about groping women “wrong” and “reprehensible,” although he still said Trump was the country’s best choice for president, reported Fox News.

This week I asked Ellen Voie, head of the group Women in Trucking, her thoughts about Trump’s apparent attitude toward women.

“The trucking industry is already benefitting from Mr. Trump’s business expertise as he focuses on our nation’s infrastructure," Voie responded. "All we can do now is hope that he surrounds himself with the best advisors, both men and women, who will ensure that he will respect women as professionals.”

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks has said Trump’s record of hiring women will continue in his administration. “President-elect Trump has a long history of empowering and employing women at the highest levels of his company and obviously we saw this during the campaign as well,” she said, according to Bloomberg.

Who might those women be? A report this week in Fortune notes that Trump’s “rumored cabinet is heavy on white men, but a few women could get seats.”

Women that have been reported as being considered, according to Fortune, include Kelly Ayotte, outgoing senator from New Hampshire; Jan Brewer, the former governor of Arizona; Sarah Palin, John McCain’s vice presidential pick in the 2008 presidential campaign and former governor of Alaska; Mary Fallin, the current governor of Oklahoma; Cynthia Lummis, outgoing member of the House of Representatives from Wyoming; Linda McMahon, a World Wrestling Entertainment executive; Victoria Lipnic, a commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Carol Comer, the commissioner of Indiana’s Department of Environmental Management; Leslie Rutledge, the attorney general of Arkansas; and Pam Bondi, the attorney general of Florida.

In the spirit of highlighting the roles strong women play in our own industry, I thought I’d revisit a few we have interviewed recently:

HDT’s Truck Fleet Innovators: Joyce Brenny

President and CEO of Brenny Transport and Brenny Specialized, St. Cloud, Minn., Brenny was honored for her approach to bringing younger drivers into the industry and turning them into safe, professional truckers.

Q&A: Daimler Trucks North America's Kary Schaefer

Early this year, Daimler Trucks North America named Kary Schaefer general manager, marketing and strategy. We spoke with her after Freightliner unveiled its next-generation Cascadia.

Q&A: J.B. Hunt's Shelley Simpson on Logistics Trends, Diversity and More

Shelley Simpson is executive vice president, chief marketing officer and president of integrated capacity solutions and truckload for J.B. Hunt. Earlier this year, she received the Women In Trucking Association’s Distinguished Woman in Logistics Award for 2016.

And I'll soon be interviewing Ramona Hood, vice president of customer operations, transportation logistics at Genco, a FedEx company, who this week was honored with the sixth annual Influential Woman in Trucking Award, presented by the Women In Trucking Association and Freightliner Trucks.

Our industry needs to attract more women, minorities and young people, to fill seats behind the wheel and to lead trucking companies into the future.


  1. 1. Dorothy Sanderson [ November 17, 2016 @ 01:07PM ]

    Men in trucking have been far more hurtful in their comments to me than Trump has ever been to women. In 1983, I went from being a Truckers wife to a truckers widow. Even women were mean thinking I was pretending to a female truck driver. Men though I was my co-drivers "lady" and not his boss. Mother of 3 young girls made me take it, for their wellbeing,a home to live in and food on the table. I support Trump! He can't hold a candle to some of the discussions I was forced to hear by men about women in Truckstops. Get over it, move on, I did.

  2. 2. Larry Phillips [ December 23, 2016 @ 06:19AM ]

    So what is the purpose of this article, other than to trash Trump? Is this not supposed to be a trucking publication?

    You are the Editor in Chief? All the other ladies have worked and become successful in trucking?

    When I started in trucking, there were almost no women. Today that has changed for the better. You should be pointing out the accomplishments of the women in trucking today, thus providing a positive image. Instead, you use this article for bad mouthing Trump and have left me with a negative feeling about women in trucking.

    Women in trucking will not stop being an issue, until all the complaining about it stops. Work hard and find the company that will appreciate your skills, regardless of your sex. Then you will achieve what you desire.


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Author Bio

Deborah Lockridge

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All That's Trucking blog is just that – the editor's take on anything and everything related to trucking, with the help of guest posts from other HDT editors. Author Deborah Lockridge's career as an award-winning trucking journalist started in 1990.


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