When John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963, women were earning 59 cents for every dollar earned by men. Women in the trucking industry were scarce, as few even considered becoming a driver or another career within the industry.
Monday, Women In Trucking Association (WIT) president/CEO Ellen Voie was invited to the White House to participate in an event where President Obama recognized this anniversary. The President stated that women now earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man, "But as long as this gap persists, we're going to have more work to do. And now is the time to keep up the work that all those trailblazers started 50 years ago," he added.
"Women are more visible at all levels in the transportation industry, from the FMCSA to NTSB, Motor Carriers (both publicly held and privately held) and to the professional driver, more women have found career opportunities in our industry since the bill was passed five decades ago," said Voie. "Regardless of your gender or race, drivers are paid by the mile or the load and the physical characteristics of the person behind the wheel isn't the determining factor regarding pay," Voie added.
The invitation to attend the event came from the Secretary of Transportation's Office of Public Engagement. "It's quite an honor for an organization like Women In Trucking to be invited to participate in such a significant event at the White House. To be included as an association with influence in the movement to secure better career opportunities for women is noteworthy, and I am glad Ellen was able to participate," said Phyllis Cochran, WIT's Chairwoman. The President spoke to a predominately female audience in the East Wing of the White House on Monday, June 10th.