WOMEN IN TRUCKING

There is no debate the trucking industry is dominated by male drivers. According to a September 2016 article in Trucks.com, female drivers make up only 5.1 percent of the total truck driving force in the U.S. But one Midwest truckload carrier is bucking that trend by creating a workplace that attracts significantly more women.

Beware the danger of Feminism Lite. It is the idea of conditional female equality. Please reject this entirely. It is a hollow, appeasing and bankrupt idea. Being a feminist is like being pregnant. You either are or you are not. You either believe in the full equality of men and women, or you do not.

Feminism Lite uses analogies like “He is the head and you are the neck.” Or, “He is driving but you are in the front seat.” More troubling is the idea, in Feminism Lite, that men are naturally superior but should be expected to “treat women well.” No. No. No. There must be more than male benevolence as the basis for a women’s well-being.

Feminism Lite uses the language of “allowing.” Theresa May is the British prime minister, and here is how a progressive British newspaper described her husband: Phillip May is known in politics as a man who has taken a back seat and allowed his wife, Theresa, to shine.

Allowed. Now let us reverse it. Theresa May has allowed her husband to shine. Does it make sense? If Phillip May were prime minister, perhaps we might hear that his wife had “supported” him from the background, that she was “behind” him or that she’d “stood by his side,” but we would never hear that she had “allowed” him to shine.

“Allow” is a troubling word. “Allow” is about power. A husband is not a headmaster. A wife is not a schoolgirl. Permission and being allowed, when used one-sidedly — and it is nearly only used that way — should never be the language of an equal marriage. Another egregious example of Feminism Lite: men who say, “Of course a wife does not always have to do the domestic work; I did domestic work when my wife traveled.”

Our world is full of men and women who do not like powerful women. We have been so conditioned to think of power as male that a powerful woman is an aberration. And so she is policed. We ask of powerful women: Is she humble? Does she smile? Is she grateful enough? Does she have a domestic side? Questions we do not ask of powerful men, which shows that our discomfort is not with power itself, but with women. We judge powerful women more harshly than we judge powerful men. And Feminism Lite enables this.

At first glance, woman interrupted may seem like a small problem, but it reflects deeper issues of gender inequality at work and in society. Women struggle every day to get their space in the workplace and the right to express themselves. When they get there, manterrupting reduces their participation. Women want men to ask themselves: Am I doing this without even realizing it? After all, what’s the point of having more women in a meeting room if nobody hears what they have to say?

R & R Trucking, Inc., a specialized carrier of sensitive cargo, reports that almost 60 percent of their driving force is women. R & R Chief Operating Officer Vonda Cooper believes women truck drivers are attracted to R & R because of the company’s guaranteed pay program, great home time policy, and family atmosphere.

“Last year our top-10 company teams at R & R averaged over $131,000, 76 cents per mile, and earned two days off for each over-the-road (OTR) week out,” Cooper says.

Glenna Smith is sold on R & R’s benefits. She and her husband, both military veterans, have been driving for R & R for over two years. “It’s a good paying job, and you will never be disappointed if you come on board,” Smith says.

Professional truck driver Susan Hall says R & R is like family, and her plan is to drive for the company until she retires. “It’s a wonderful place to work. Whenever I call in to talk to my dispatcher, or the shop, or almost anybody here, they know me by my first name,” Hall says. “They even knew my dog’s name and kept treats for him.”

Kevin McKelvy, R & R Vice President of Administration, says the company hires mostly teams. “The makeup of our team drivers represents a diverse demographic,” McKelvy says. “We have male and female teams, female teams, male teams and teams who pair with other family members — the door is wide open for individuals who want to be together and drive professionally for a living.”

According to the company, a driver’s safety record is a key factor when interviewing and hiring. “Our statistics demonstrate that women truck drivers at R & R have significantly fewer accidents than their male counterparts,” says David Vargyas, R & R Safety Director.

R & R has partnered up with the Women in Trucking Association (WIT), a non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage the employment of women, promote their accomplishments, and minimize obstacles faced by women in the trucking industry.

“Our goal in becoming a WIT sponsor is to help support all women in trucking and to further expand the message that R & R is a great place for professional women truck drivers to work,” Cooper says. 

R & R Trucking, Inc. – with its group of carriers, AATCO and NEI – is North America’s largest trucking company that specializes in the transport of sensitive cargo. Their logistic and equipment capabilities encompass tanker, dry van, flat bed, dromedary and specialized transportation equipment. Its mission is to provide transportation services to customers safely and efficiently by utilizing quality personnel and resources.

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