By Reagan Payne
Young ladies all across the country are being introduced to the world of transportation with fun activities and role models that look a lot like them. Women working in the supply chain and other organizations are working together to encourage the younger generation to consider a career in this industry.
The Women in Trucking Association (WIT) plays a huge role in introducing trucking to the younger generations – specifically, the younger generation of girls. In 2014, it began a fruitful partnership with the Girl Scouts of America.
Through events organized with various companies within the supply chain, the girls can earn a Transportation Patch. This patch, developed by WIT in cooperation with the Greater Chicago/Northern Indiana Girl Scouts, introduces young women to careers in transportation.
The first event in a series of many, 84 Girl Scouts gathered at Olive Harvey School in Chicago, Ill. A female Navistar Engineer talked with the girls about better designing trucks to accommodate women. They even got a chance to hop in the driver’s seat of a Halvor Lines truck, assisted by two of the company’s female professional drivers.
Another event in June 2017 drew 21 young girls at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. They discussed the Girl Scout cookies’ journey from grain in a farmer’s field, to the bakery, to the packaging center — all done by a truck. The girls relate to the supply chain lesson and will now identify trucks as potentially hauling their cookies.
In August 2019, the National Transportation Institute (NTI) hosted to a group of Girl Scouts for an education event called Trucks ARE for Girls! in New Ulm., Minn. NTI secured the participation of Walmart. The supermarket company provided one of its esteemed drivers as well as a truck and a trailer, which featured decals detailing how to safely operate around big rigs on the highway.
WIT has two different coloring books that feature fun, educational activities to accompany a Girl Scout event or be distributed on their own. Shelby’s Big Rig Day is about a girl who has an opportunity to go with her mother to work, riding in a tractor-trailer. Scouting for Cookies features a young scout who takes the reader through the cookie supply chain. She starts in a wheat field and ends with the consumer, much like some of that June 2017 event’s lessons.
At J.B. Hunt in Fayetteville, Ark., the girls had an interactive session with Tami Allensworth, SVP of Customer Experience. She spoke about supply chain and how it affects the Girl Scouts personally.
Nearly 1,600 young girls have now earned the Women In Trucking Transportation Patch. The long-term goal of this program is for these girls to be educated on the trucking industry. Their natural talents can serve the trucking industry in the various roles available: drivers, engineers, business owners, technicians, trainers, etc.
“It was a wonderful experience to be part of a group of several lady drivers and visit with those bright young girls,” WIT Driver Ambassador Kellylynn McLaughlin told HireMaster. “I wish every Girl Scout troop would partner with our members in their area to complete the patch activities.
“I think it’s a great way to introduce young girls to the plethora of opportunities within our supply chain!”
Reagan Payne is a writer for Wright Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.