GENDER was the winning agenda for the Queensland Trucking Association last week.
More than 140 people packed the Brisbane Golf Club for the sold out Women in Road Transport breakfast to celebrate International Women's Day.
It was the second time the QTA has held the popular breakfast and this time around featured a panel including current QTA Trucking Industry Woman of the Year, Tracie Dickenson - part owner of Daryl Dickenson Transport.
Her fellow panellists were Transpacific Industries CEO Kevin Campbell, DP World HR Advisor Nicole Holyer, All Purpose Transport General Manager Paul Kahlert and the panel was facilitated by Emberin Managing Director Louise Perram-Fisk.
The panel discussed how to get more women in transport; women make up only 12.2% of the road freight sector and 24% of transport and logistics as a whole.
Ms Holyer said it was important for anyone employed in any job to be there because of their merits.
"In my experience there are a lot of women that just want to drive trucks," she said of her experience with diversity.
But flexibility in working hours was the key to seeing more women in the workforce, she said.
Mr Kahlert said there was a skills shortage in the industry.
"We look at survival. I think that women are an untapped resource we haven't seen yet."
More than 30% of his workforce is women. He has spent a lot of time making sure all women at All Purpose Transport have qualifications.
Mrs Dickenson got into transport because she "fell in love with a man who drove a truck". Now her daughters are in the industry.
"It's easier for a woman born into it or to come into it with a partner."
Mrs Dickenson said she travelled with now-husband Daryl for 14 months and when she was 7.5 months pregnant she was told "no more tarping" and she had to get off the road.
For Mr Campbell getting more women to work at Transpacific Industries made sense.
"As far as I'm concerned women are better drivers and take better care of the gear. If they're good enough for Rio Tinto, they're good enough for my company," he said.
"All our leaders have to be totally open to the best person for the job regardless of race or gender."
QTA CEO Peter Garske said the organisation celebrated 106 years in 2013, but for the first time in February acting CEO Roz Shaw chaired the meeting and held the controlling vote.
"For the first time ever a woman controlled the board of directors as she had the controlling vote," he said.
"The event is in its second year and continues to attract strong support from industry and our Association corporate partners clearly who value important role of women in the freight task.
"Highly skilled women are to be found in all occupations in the trucking industry and associated freight task. They are successful forklift operators, administrative staff and managing directors."
"Women make a significant contribution to the Transport and Logistics industry, and the QTA Ltd's International Women's Day breakfast is a unique event in the Australian trucking industry calendar that recognises their contribution," Mr Garske said.