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Few Women Hold High-Level Positions in Trucking, Survey Finds

October 23, 2015

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Judy McReynolds is president and CEO of ArcBest Corp., where women make up 27.3% of the board of directors and 25% of executives.
Judy McReynolds is president and CEO of ArcBest Corp., where women make up 27.3% of the board of directors and 25% of executives.

Females are as underrepresented in corporate-level trucking jobs as they are in other sectors of American industry, says Ellen Voie, president and CEO of the Women in Trucking Association.

Responding to a recent USA Today article that reported that few women are board members of publicly traded companies, WIT commissioned a survey of trucking firms to document the situation among them.

It found that in the United States, women make up 19.2% of director positions in trucking, slightly less than the 20.8% of seats filled by women in Canada. By comparison, at 100 Standard & Poor-rated companies, 21% of directors are women, the USA Today article said. 

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University of Memphis students, under the direction of Dr. Stephanie Ivey, conducted the survey. 

“The results were not surprising, considering the predominance of men employed in transportation careers,” said Ivey. “The findings provide a baseline for carriers to consider when looking at diversity initiatives in the boardroom and the corporate office.” 

“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 Voie at WIT. “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,” she said, “you will need to create an environment where women are visibly leading these initiatives.”

Fifteen carriers are listed as publicly traded companies, according to Bloomberg LP. Of those, seven, or nearly half, have no women serving on their boards of directors. Ten of the 15 show no women in the executive suite.

ArcBest Corp., led by President/CEO Judy McReynolds, a member of WIT, takes the lead in promoting women with a 27.3% representation on the ArcBest board of directors and 25% of women at the corporate level, the survey reported. 

Con-way was a close second with 23.1% women in directors positions. Celadon holds the third highest level of women as directors with 20%. J.B. Hunt Transport Services follows with 18.2% women serving on its board of directors. These companies are all corporate members of WIT.

Women attract women

The visibility of women in executive positions is important in attracting women to carriers, Voie said. J.B. Hunt has made efforts to increase the presence of women in C-level positions with their “Growing and Retaining Outstanding Women” (GROW) Initiative and support for Women in Trucking as a Gold Level partner. These efforts are reflected in their 20% representation of women holding executive positions at the carrier.

Swift Transportation has the third highest level of female executives at 16.7% and Celadon holds the number four slot with 14.3%. 

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.

Female percentages

The WIT-sponsored survey found that among the 15 publicly traded trucking companies, eight have women on their boards of directors and five have female executives:

% Women on Boards

ArcBest Corp., ARCB US Equity -- 27.3

Con-way Inc., CNW US Equity -- 23.1

Celadon Group Inc., CGI US Equity -- 20.0

JB Hunt Transport Services Inc., JBHT US Equity -- 18.2

Heartland Express Inc., HTLD US Equity -- 16.7

Knight Transportation Inc., KNX US Equity -- 11.1

Saia Inc., SAIA US Equity -- 11.1

YRC Worldwide Inc., YRCW US Equity -- 10.0

Covenant Transportation Group Inc., CVTI US Equity -- 0.0

Marten Transport Ltd., MRTN US Equity -- 0.0

Old Dominion Freight Line Inc., ODFL US Equity -- 0.0

PAM Transportation Services Inc., PTSI US Equity -- 0.0

Swift Transportation Co., SWFT US Equity -- 0.0

USA Truck Inc., USAK US Equity -- 0.0

Werner Enterprises Inc., WERN US Equity -- 0.0 

% Women Executives

ArcBest Corp ARCB, US Equity -- 25.0

JB Hunt Transport Services Inc., JBHT US Equity -- 20.0

Swift Transportation Co., SWFT US Equity -- 16.7

Celadon Group Inc., CGI US Equity -- 14.3

Con-way Inc., CNW US Equity -- 6.3

Covenant Transportation Group Inc., CVTI US Equity -- 0.0

Heartland Express Inc., HTLD US Equity -- 0.0

Knight Transportation Inc., KNX US Equity -- 0.0

Marten Transport Ltd., MRTN US Equity -- 0.0

Old Dominion Freight Line Inc., ODFL US Equity -- 0.0

PAM Transportation Services Inc., PTSI US Equity -- 0.0

Saia Inc., SAIA US Equity -- 0.0

USA Truck Inc., USAK US Equity -- 0.0

Werner Enterprises Inc., WERN US Equity -- 0.0

YRC Worldwide Inc., YRCW US Equity -- 0.0

Comments

  1. 1. D. Scott Brown [ October 27, 2015 @ 01:35PM ]

    Hi Ellen...

    Thank you for sharing this article, as well as the other posts I see you have been sharing in the group.

    This one in particular highlights the LACK of women in higher levels of management. I believe too often, women are just assumed to be better suited to admin or basic office positions... and that is sad.

    As a Women's Empowerment Lifestyle Coach (even though I'm a man), I do believe a lot of companies would be much better off if they had more women in upper levels of operations and management.

    In my "former life", I was in trucking for over 34 Years... I did just about everything there is to do in Trucking from Driving, Maintenance, Dispatch, Safety and Business Owner.

    Since this industry has been primarily male-dominated and over the years that did make sense... but now that trucking has evolved especially in the past 10-20 years, it is now a much more female-friendly environment than it used to be... but don't get me wrong... there is still TOO MUCH non-female-friendly stuff that goes on.

    Also, just putting a woman in a higher level position is not the answer. That can be like being fed to the wolves... on several levels.

    But I think the time is here and now for change to occur. I would love to hear anyone else's thoughts, opinions, concerns and questions.

    If I can be of Value in some way, please just let me know.

    Thank you again Ellen for sharing this article. I look forward to what is coming next. :)

 

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