“Women are significantly underrepresented in the trucking industry, holding only 24 percent of all transportation jobs,” FMCSA Deputy Administrator Robin Hutcheson once said in a statement. The Biden-Harris administration is interested in making the industry more representative of the population as a whole, and is founding the Women of Trucking Advisory Board (WOTAB).
WOTAB’s inaugural committee will be sixteen members, all women, who come from all angles of the trucking industry to help provide suggestions that may boost the percentage of women in trucking from 24 percent to closer to 50.
The laurels of the women comprising the board are numerous. Just a few of them include:
- Elisabeth Barna, Executive Vice President of the ATA.
- Enjoli DeGrasse, Deputy Director of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
- Mairedruckenmilller, Direct of Transportation at Amazon.
- Marquita Jones, Autonomous Vehicle Operations Test Driver at TuSimple, a tech company focuses on autonomous commercial driving.
- Erin Ducharme, CFO of H&L Bloom/Bloom’s Bus Lines, a motorcoach company.
Combined, the sixteen members have eighty years of driving experience.
WOTAB is the direct result of the recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which not only involves road repair, but has the stated goals of both improving quality of life for truck drivers and bringing more drivers to the industry.
“America needs truck drivers like never before, yet women–half the American people–have long been underestimated and underrepresented behind the wheel and in jobs across this sector. Getting to know women in trucking, I have heard about their passion for the job as well as the challenges they face, and this experienced Women in Trucking Advisory Board will help us address these issues directly,” Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Transportation Secretary, said in a statement regarding the founding of WOTAB. “We thank the members for serving and look forward to working together to bring more women into trucking and to enhance job quality in this important career.”
If WOTAB succeeds in its goals and brings more women into the industry, the total number of truck drivers will increase and make a larger amount of the voting base of Congress, allowing bills favorable to the industry to make it through. This may be the first domino in a chain that gets us to that truck parking bill that the industry has needed for so long. We are keeping our fingers crossed!
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