Ellen Voie in Perth.
Ellen Voie in Perth. James Graham

'Get them talking about what they love about their jobs'

TRUCKING Australia conference VIP speaker Ellen Voie, a doyen of US transport innovation, says we need to promote our industry to a wider audience.

"I would introduce some kind of image team, or road team,” the CEO and founder of the Women in Trucking Association in the US told Big Rigs after the second session of her whistle-stop Perth visit.

"Get them out in the media, out in the public, into schools, in newspapers and on as many TV shows as possible outside of the industry. And, of course, women, not just men... get them out there and visible talking about what they love about their jobs.”

She said similar promotions in the US had a profoundly positive effect; boosting recruitment, self-esteem of those in the industry and fostering more of an understanding of the vital role trucking plays.

Ms Voie said she'd also like to see the Australian industry listen to the driver more. She said our rest areas are light years behind what is now on offer in the US; oversized shower heads, fluffy towels and hair-driers being just a few of the new features installed to accommodate the spike in female drivers.

"Twelve years ago when I started Women in Trucking, they'd say, 'we don't care about age, gender, ethnicity'. Now companies see the value in hiring more women, in the corporate office and as drivers. Now they're saying 'help us better understand how to attract and maintain more women'.”

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