Australia can learn from United States on how to attract women to trucking

By: Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi

Oxford Cold Storage manager’s trip to the US shows her what is being done in the country to sell trucking to women.

Australia can learn from United States on how to attract women to trucking
Ellen Voie (left) with Jacquelene Brotherton.


Australia could learn from the United States on ways to raise the trucking industry’s profile among women, Oxford Cold Storage transport manager Jacquelene Brotherton says.

Brotherton, who sits on the Global Cold Chain Alliance’s (GCCA) safety committee, attended the annual GCCA Assembly of Committees event in Washington in July followed by the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas.

During her visit, Brotherton met with Women in Trucking president Ellen Voie, who two years ago attended Transport Women Australia’s conference in Melbourne.

Brotherton says trucking in the US has a high level of exposure and it is something Australians can learn from.

"I think they have such a high profile over there. They are more visible and they seem to be totally raising the profile of women over there," Brotherton says.

"There’s a lot of campaigns on the image of trucking over there…they seem to have a much larger profile because they are communicating a lot more with the media and Ellen does everything to make sure that everybody knows about them.

"They’re called to comment on things and speak at a lot of functions to raise the profile, including the image of drivers."

Campaigns such as Trucking Moves America Forward and I Heart Trucking are both successful, she adds.

Voie, who together with Brotherton appeared on an American radio show talking about the trucking issues the two countries share, says the Australian industry is more of a "bloke’s world".

"It’s much more of a bloke’s job in Australia. You don’t see as many women because they think of it in more of a physically demanding role," Voie says.

"The difference is that we are trying and have campaigns over here like I Heart Trucking where we try to change the image but I think it’s hard when you have the media picking up on the negative side of the industry."

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