As a young female professional, I blog about issues that I find hugely inspiring and encouraging – and seeing the rise in female workers with male dominated industries, is certainly one of those things.
Fifty years ago, it’s was extremely uncommon to see women working within fleet or trucking – but now, in 2016, that’s all changed. Today you’ll find women behind the wheel of a bus, coach, van or a truck, and in many cases proving to be a better investment than their male counterparts. This is an exciting change – but it’s not just limited to the drivers themselves – software companies such as Esso Card are also seeing rises in women workers – meaning that women are breaking into the office roles of fleet too – including managers, software engineers and senior board level employees.
Why are these numbers on the rise? Well I think it’s down to the right encouragement, and the confidence of women workers to make it known what they can do. There are also some hugely supportive communities for women in the fleet and trucking industry – which help others get a grip on their roles and help them grow within an industry primarily owned by men.
Here I’ll talk about some inspiring leaders with fleet, that are truly changing up and influencing the industry as a whole:
Therasa Belding, Forest Pharmaceuticals Senior Fleet Services Manager increased the company’s fleet from 250 to 3,200 vehicles over 19 years and reduced accident rates by 30%. She was voted Professional Fleet Manager of the Year in 2011.
Donna Bibbo, CAFM, fleet and travel manager increased Nova Nordisk’s fleet from 1,260 to 4,000 vehicles over a six year period. She also sits on a number of transport related advisory committees.
Shirley Collins, CAFM, a director of GlaxoSmithKline’s North American fleet since 2001. She has saved the company over $44 million renegotiating contracts, reviewing vehicle selections and automating various processes.
Brenda Davis, Strategic Sourcing Fleet Commodity Manager for Baker Hughes, she saved the company over $10 million by consolidating 11 various business units while adding 2,500 fleet vehicles without taking on additional staff. Large cost savings were also made by streamlining various processes and improving the company’s negotiation program.
DrLisa Dorn, the founder of Driver Metrics – but also hugely important in the discussion of driver safety too. She’s also Associate Professor of Driver Behavior and Director of the Driving Research Group at Cranfield University
These are just a few of the women who have made a highly successful career in transport and I always find these examples of women influencers and women drivers hugely inspiring and encouraging. If you want to work in any industry, you should push for it and go for it – and these women are living proof of how forward thinking the fleet industry is.