I started to realize that the trucking industry didn't know how to attract and retain women. Everybody thought (starting Women in Trucking) was a good idea.
I didn't have anyone say, 'Don't do it.' We just grew. We had 500 members the first year. Although my advice is to not try and start a nonprofit organization in the middle of a recession.
Is there a driver shortage?
Yes. There's a severe qualified-driver shortage. Companies are looking for where they can get the next generation of drivers. The typical male driver is in his 50s. They're an aging work force and they're being eliminated because of medical issues and being disqualified because of their safety ratings.
The carriers need to start looking at their recruiting materials and think about how they're attracting women into this industry.
Why do women need a different seat design in their trucks?
Women are not just small-stature men. Women have wider hips, usually shorter legs. Manufacturers used to make trucks for guys.
There are some 98-pound women who stand 5-foot tall.
So they're looking at everything from how to make seatbelts more adjustable; the width and length of seats, so legs can go over the bottom of the seat; and where the steering wheel and dash are located.
What changes are happening at truck stops?
Amenities, security and safety are among the issues. PA Petro started putting in big shower heads and hair dryers and fluffy towels. In the convenience store, if you're a truck driver and you're buying deodorant and things like that, it's all geared toward men.
Our members say they can't even find gloves that fit them, and they need to have gloves when they're fueling and for their pre-trip inspection.
What about safety issues for female drivers?
We're teaching women how to be safe while they're on the road. We tell them don't walk between the trucks, don't park in the back where its dark and try not to get out of your truck at night. And carry wasp spray because it's legal and shoots 12 feet.
One of the biggest issues we have is harassment, and it's usually from their male peers.
Women In Trucking invited to the White House to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act.
The invitation to attend the event came from the Secretary of Transportation's office of Public Engagement.
Truckers Against Trafficking working to educate, mobilize members of trucking, travel plaza industry to combat domestic sex trafficking
Honking at slow drivers is No. 1 rude road behavior; swearing in front of kids is most regretted.