WIT’s barrier-breaking mission continues under new leadership – Taking The Hire Road

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On this very special episode of Taking The Hire Road, guest host Leah Shaver, president and CEO of the National Transportation Institute, is joined by Women in Trucking Association (WIT) President and CEO Jennifer Hedrick.
Hedrick officially assumed the position of president and CEO of WIT in March, taking over for Elle Voie, who founded the organization in 2007.
“Women in Trucking has such a storied history,” Hedrick said, “not only as an organization but as an association. I was a bit in awe that the job was open and certainly excited to apply for it.”
Since its founding, WIT has grown from just a couple hundred members to over 8,000, Hedrick said, and the growth speaks to the crucial need for the association in the industry.
When WIT was founded, women made up a disproportionately low percentage of the trucking workforce. Since then, the percentage of women in truck driving roles has grown, reaching almost 14%, according to WIT’s 2022’s index.
WIT focuses on growing women’s presence in the trucking industry, promoting their accomplishments and eliminating obstacles.
“So much of what we do is education and removing barriers to entry,” Hedrick said. “Part of that is educating the general public on careers in transportation, from the driver to the C-suite, and helping them understand that these careers are flexible, accessible and self-sustaining, well paying and they provide opportunities for career advancement.”
As women face a variety of unique challenges in the industry, like personal safety, maternity leave policies and recognition of professional accomplishments, WIT aims to help break down these barriers to entry through informative efforts like white papers, webinars and other programs.
WIT’s annual Accelerate! Conference and Expo, this year scheduled for Nov. 5-8 in Dallas, is also an opportunity for all women in the transportation industry to network and learn about relevant current topics.
Education also includes young girls who are exploring the possibilities of the careers they could one day have. WIT helps girls learn about the possibilities of a career in trucking through outreach programs like bringing its WITney trailer across the U.S., giving them access to interactive activities like a driving simulator.
The Women in Trucking Foundation also supports women through scholarships that enable them to get a commercial driver’s license.
While WIT is clear that it’s not a lobbying organization, Hedrick said its staff still tracks federal regulations, proposed regulations and legislative activity.
“We want to be sure that we’re well-versed and well-educated on issues and can be a voice on behalf of the organization, on behalf of women in the profession as well,” Hedrick said.
Looking ahead, Hedrick said WIT’s broader goals for the next few years include improving partnerships and relationships to grow the organization and expand opportunities, continuing to make gender pay and equity part of daily conversations, and advancing the global presence of the association, to name a few.
It has an ambitious growth goal to triple membership over the next 10 years, aiming to grow to 25,000 members by 2032, which means not only increasing the number of members but also providing associated content for its members as it scales.
“We create opportunities for women, and that strengthens individuals, businesses and the industry, and the entire U.S. economy and supply chain. So, the impact is broad,” Hedrick said.
To learn more about the Women in Trucking Association, click here.

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