15 Minutes of Fame: Hutchco Customer, CEO Ellen Voie of Women in Trucking

15 Minutes of Fame: Hutchco Customer, CEO Ellen Voie of Women in Trucking

Ellen Voie founded the Women In Trucking Association. As the president and CEO of this non-profit organization, she told us not only how she uses Hutchco plastic countertop signs for her display booth marketing, but also about how her group originated, its mission, and a little bit about women in trucking in general.

A field long dominated by men, truck driving today finds only about 7% of the drivers’ seats filled by woman truck drivers, she reported. Ellen’s non-profit supports a three-fold mission to:

  • Encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry
  • Address any obstacles that might keep women from either entering the industry or succeeding
  • Celebrate the success of pioneers: women who have been in the industry

Ellen started the organization more than a decade ago when she was working for the trucking company, Schneider National, as the manager of recruiting and retention programs. It was her job to develop a protocol to attract and retain nontraditional groups, and women were among the underemployed groups in the industry.

Her research showed that the trucking industry had few data tracking women at the time. Coincidentally, while working on her pilot’s license, she observed a group for women in that industry and decided that the trucking industry needed a group too. That’s how Women in Trucking began.

“We’re empowering women,” she says. “We’re helping women find great jobs in a unique way, whether they’re driving, in safety, working as a technician, or whatever. We’re empowering them. We’re helping them find a career in a great industry where they can make decent money.”

Although most of the members of the association live and work in North America, they have members all over the world, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan, and Sweden. They have a single member in Uganda, and Women in Trucking recently issued a scholarship to her.

Ellen and her team work in diverse areas that affect women in trucking. For example, they have collaborated with truck cab manufacturers on cab design and ergonomics. “In the past,” she commented, “trucks were designed for men, not for women, who typically have shorter arms and legs. That made it tough for women to reach the pedals and see over the dash. Cab makers are listening. Now they’re working to make more comfortable cab designs for women.”

Her association has also worked with the truck stops to protect women by improving safety, security, and amenities. For example, truck stop stores in the past carried deodorants scented for men and gloves that did not fit women.

They promote improved lighting and security at truck stops, as well. To protect women in the workplace, the group also provides its members with access to its “Anti-Harassment Employment Guide and Recruiting Guide.” The association’s also helps recruiters tailor their efforts to help find more female employees for their workplace.

Ellen’s Display Booth Marketing with Plastic Countertop Signs

Ellen says that she uses Hutchco plastic countertop signs to market her association. “When we go to a trade show like the Mid America Trucking Show, we put a sign at each of our members’ booths. The signs say, ‘Proud Member of Women in Trucking.’ At this show, there are about 80 members present and people come up to me and say, ‘I see your signs all over the place!’ So it’s a great marketing tool.”

Ellen provided us with interesting insight into Women in Trucking, and, of course, we enjoyed hearing that our plastic countertop signs work so well for her display booth marketing efforts. Thanks, Ellen, for sharing with us, and we wish you and your women trucking associates the best of luck in continuing your mission.

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