November 1, 2023
Thank you to all of the amazing women who participated in this year’s Women In Industry social media campaign for Women’s History Month. We couldn’t have done it without you! And if you weren’t able to this year, we’ll see you next year!
We asked each of our Women in Industry nominees these questions:
What brought you/drew you to the transportation industry?
What opportunities are there for women in transportation?
What, if any, is the biggest change you’d like to see in industry?
This is what they had to say:
Nicole Carrier, Fleet Manager, South Country Co-op Limited
“There has never been a better time to be a woman in transportation with all the training and job opportunities available through government grants and wage subsidies. There is also a greater acceptance both in the field as well as in management for women to be a part of the industry.”
Lorri Christensen, Health & Safety Manager, COR Internal Auditor, Precision Truck Lines
“When people think of commercial trucking – they automatically think driver. Our drivers are the backbone of the industry – however, women can become part of the industry as drivers, administrators, safety, HR, IT, dock workers, dispatchers, supervisors, etc. The transportation industry is one of the most diverse employers and as such, has many employment opportunities.”
Nicole Clarke, Class 1 Driver, Encore Trucking & Transport Ltd.
“Nicole was drawn to the transportation industry with her interest in Mobile Cranes. She enjoys the opportunities for diverse work. Each day is something new with different trucks and equipment for specific jobs which gives you space to find what you enjoy doing.”
Amy Cunningham, Logistics Coordinator, Gateway Carriers Ltd.
“I would like to see more women in the transportation industry, period! Women have the strength, tenacity, ambition, and drive to be in the transportation industry AND having more women in this industry would create a greater, more relatable support system.”
Rebecca Goldsack, COO, Deisel Tech Industries Ltd.
“Having grown up as a daughter of a HET (Heavy Equipment Technician), I have been around the industry my whole life, after going to university I knew this is always what I wanted to do, being at the leading edge of developing technology that can make a difference for an industry and getting outside of the comfort zone of “well it’s been done this way for 30 years” and having a valuable impact on the safety and environment
The limits are endless, from technology, regulations, driving, and logistics we all have added skill and value that we can add to the transportation industry. These roles were traditionally filled by men, but we have definitely seen a shift in who is sitting at the boardroom table as we bring a new fresh perspective. A growing number of companies within the trucking industry are realizing the unique skill sets women offer such as communication skills, empathy, adaptability, and problem-solving, and provide effective vision and resilience.
Respect, I have personally met with people, and they are not invested until I start talking and really showing them that I know what I am talking about. The environment is male-dominated and while we have seen changes there is still a long way to go.”
Lynne Greene, Motor Coach Operator (Charter Division)/Driver Trainer, Diversified Transportation
“After working in the enforcement field for a full career, my conclusion was the best part of that position was the driving. It didn’t take long to recognize that a life on the highway has the best views available of any office. Transporting and building relationships with people (clients) was a bonus I didn’t expect, but immensely fulfilling and satisfying.
There are endless opportunities for women in transportation. Nothing gives me a bigger sense of pride than seeing women in the seats of big rigs, heavy/small equipment, buses, and other forms of commercial transportation.
I’d honestly like to see more women in commercial transportation, we have certainly proven our worth in the industry and paved the way for future generations. Now I’d like to see more women being recruited and attracted to these roles.”
Annette Hill, Owner, Ticket Busters
“Ticket Busters has interacted with women working in various roles within the transportation industry (drivers, business owners, logistics coordinators, administrators etc.); the opportunities are countless.”
Pat Hillaby, Journeyman Parts Person, Whitecourt Transport
“My crew is one of the best and I couldn’t be who I am and do what I do without them. Thank you, technicians and managers. Changes happen all the time in this industry, and I sure want to see more women in it (seeing more and more these days).”
Nicole Hodgins, Administrator Manager, Whitecourt Transport Inc.
“The change really starts with management. By showing our peers that women are capable and can be a huge asset in so many capacities within this industry is just so crucial to growth. I am one of many women within the Whitecourt Transport team that has been blessed to have the exact management helping us grow and become stronger, better and more valued.”
Shannon Holicza, Cross-Border Driver/Trainer, Bison Transport
“This is the only industry where women and men are paid the same with no change because of gender. Amazing opportunities for women who love to travel! The biggest things I would like to see changed would be more clean and safe rest areas/washrooms for everyone and more women! Come join this amazing industry.”
Kim Horvath, HSE Coordinator, Secure Energy
“Like most industries, many positions are held by men. I believe that women are capable and able to work in any role, from boots on the ground (Class 1 drivers) all the way up to the CEO.”
Terri Johnson, Manager, Industry Advancement, Alberta Motor Transport Association
“Transportation is a huge field that can provide opportunities to advance skill sets in business, marketing, clean energy, data sciences, engineering, training, safety, mechanics, driving, product management, research and innovation… the opportunities are endless.”
Keila Kivi, Livestock Relocation Specialist, Gateway Carriers
“Being at Gateway has tested some of my skills, as well as some of my weaknesses I have while either loading or unloading. These are challenges I am up for. But what I love while I learn [to overcome] these challenges is that there is no judgement by other drivers I work with. The opportunities are there to build a career with companies that will accept you with open arms and help you grow.”
Jolette Kooger, Vice President of Human Resources, Caro Transportation Systems
“This industry is constantly changing and evolving. There are of course, opportunities for improvement, but in general it’s an exciting industry to be a part of; an essential service made up of dedicated people who are passionate about providing transportation services in many challenging scenarios.”
Michelle Kwasny, General Manager Edmonton/AMTA Board, First Truck Centre Inc.
“I applied for a summer job that turned into a 27-year (and counting) career in transportation. While it is a male-dominated industry, there are endless opportunities for growth if you’re willing to work hard. 100% of the brain power needs to be involved, regardless of gender, to make an impact and advance our industry. I have fueled my career growth by finding motivation in achieving goals and practicing this motto: ‘If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you’.”
Kalina LeGoff, Manager of Western Canada – Safety & Compliance, Tri-Line Carriers – TF Energy Solutions
“Trucking is in my blood, I grew up with trucks and everyone I know either drives one, recovers them with a heavy wrecker, or repairs them in a shop. You likely won’t meet anyone who has a deeper admiration and respect for drivers than me – I see and feel the risks and sacrifices they make everyday to do what they do. Truck driving is one of the most dangerous and demanding occupations in the world.”
Erin Lachance, Office & Safety Administrator, Whitecourt Transportation Inc.
“On a typical day, I can go from filing and creating safety procedures in the office, to actively working in the shop or field alongside hardworking men and women creating a safety positive environment. I am proud to announce that the industry, or at least the company I work for, is embracing gender diversity and inclusion.”
Bonnie Lean, Transportation Compliance Advisor, Secure Energy
“I’d like to see more strong female representation in all aspects of the industry. From entry-level, to executives. Specific to our female drivers, ensuring that our women in this industry have safe reliable access to resources for their routes.”
Tracy MacDonald, National Fleet Manager/Engineer, Linde Canada Inc.
“I got involved with equipment technology, equipment specifications and maintenance from day one. People in the industry have been amazing in that they were welcoming and willing to teach and share knowledge. The industry is always changing, which makes it fun to be a part of.”
Joy Martin, Quality, Health, Safety, & Environment Manager, Subsurface Construction Corporation
“Throughout the industry, we need to make better effort in mentoring and coaching our drivers through all the changes that are taking place. To provide drivers with experience and opportunities to grow within the industry, from running regular vehicle, piloting trucks, all the way up to heavy haul and oilfield driving. This type of on-road experience will help the driver gain practical experience needed in our changing industry.”
Maryna Rolland, Senior HSE Coordinator, Arrow Transportation Systems Inc.
“I was drawn to the diversity within the industry. I knew that working in this industry would give me an opportunity to work with new and exciting challenges every day.”
Agnes Rozanska, Manager, Quality Assurance, Alberta Motor Transport Association
“In the transportation industry, you are working in “every” industry. A career is filled with learning and development opportunities. To add value, you need to understand your customer’s business. I’m surrounded by people who love what they do, and are the most passionate about their work in transportation.”
Tammy Russell, Director of Safety, Diversified Transportation Ltd.
“I was drawn to the industry due to the challenging and dynamic environment. The transportation industry is inherently dynamic and presents complex challenges. For myself I thrive on solving problems and adapting to new situations, this field offers a stimulating environment. Whether it’s ensuring the safe and efficient movement of goods and people or solving internal safety issues there is no shortage of intellectually stimulating tasks.
The industry has lots of opportunity for career advancement. As the industry becomes more progressive, opportunities for career growth and leadership roles are expanding for women. Many transportation companies are actively promoting diversity and inclusion, offering mentorship programs and leadership development initiatives to support women in their careers.
As well, other areas that are becoming more appealing to women to pursue a career in transportation are: Technology and Innovation, Global Opportunities, Financial Rewards, Promoting Sustainability, and Strong Support Networks as women entering the transportation industry today can benefit from the growing network of female professionals who are already making significant contributions. These support networks can provide mentorship, guidance, and a sense of belonging.
The transportation industry is evolving, providing an array of opportunities for women across various sectors, from driving and logistics to engineering, leadership, and sustainability. As the industry continues to embrace diversity and inclusion, women are well-positioned to thrive in these roles and make significant contributions to the sector’s growth and development.
I would like to see more females in Leadership Roles and to break the stigma that the transportation industry is for men only. As well I would like to see more focus put on Clean Energy Vehicles, a major change would be a widespread transition from internal combustion engine vehicles to hydrogen and other clean energy options. This shift would significantly reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality in urban areas. Diversified Transportation is leading in this field with the first Hydrogen bus in Employee Transportation.”
Shazia Sabir, Day Planner, XTL Transport
“Every single thing is an opportunity for a women [in industry]. Women in transportation can create huge diversity in industry. We need minds trained in architecture, mathematics, economics, environmental sciences, geography, etc.”
Monika Stirling, Program Manager – Training Delivery, Energy Safety Canada
“I’m excited about the strong focus on embracing safety in the transportation industry and would love to see it continue further by strengthening the ‘Safety First’ mindset.”
Lisa Thompson, Regional Sales Executive, Adecco Canada
“I’ve had the pleasure of watching a number of women who started in traditional roles, who are now in leadership roles – and making an impact directly to their company’s culture and bottom-line. As an industry, we need to raise the awareness of careers, and encourage upskilling of current female employees in what is seen as a non-traditional role.”
Sabrina Wilde, Owner/Director, Lone Wolf Mechanical
“I have always known since an early age, before I could even drive, I would be a good driver and it was something I wanted to do. Also, my father was a truck driver, as was his father. So, it’s in my blood. I think there is just as many opportunities in the industry as there is for men, however I feel like as a women you have to be twice as good and you have to prove yourself. I would like to see the public having more respect for this industry. It’s a very tough, thankless job. It should be one the most respected professions as we would not have anything if it wasn’t for trucks and drivers.”
BJ Zoobkoff, Talent Acquisition Manager, XTL Transport Inc.
“I would love to for the general public to understand what it means for a “driver” to be a driver! To understand what it is like being 100,000+lbs out on the road, going slower than everyone else (for safety reasons)… Anyone can be anything they want to be in this industry with the training and a company that has faith in the skills they already have just by coaching and training them for success!”
Amy and Cheryl, Dispatchers, Encore Trucking & Transport Ltd.
“A career in transportation is filled with learning and development opportunities. Every day brings a variety of challenges and opportunities to operate various equipment and work in a variety of professional disciplines. Encouraging more woman to pursue careers in transport through education and training programs can help diversify the workforce. Women in the transport industry often face challenges in accessing equal employment opportunities and making scholarships and mentoring programs available helps. Ensuring that women receive equal pay for equal work is a fundamental aspect of gender equality. Addressing pay disparities in the transport industry is crucial.
We love to see an increase of the representation of women in leadership positions within transport companies and government agencies. This can help promote diversity and bring about more inclusive decision making and eliminate gender-based discrimination in hiring, promotions and pay to ensure equal career advancements.”
Teri-Lynn, Heavy Equipment Technician Apprentice, Encore Trucking & Transport Ltd.
Teri-Lynn is no stranger to this industry. She grew up on a farm and her grandfather was a trucker. She sees plenty of opportunity for women in transportation as it’s easy to get into and there is no judgement. Teri-Lynn would like to see better equality for women in the industry, she has experienced some inequality of pay and women being “treated more softly”.