Together We Can Make a Difference

Maggie PetersonThirty some years ago, when I first wrapped my hands around a truck steering wheel, I had little idea of the challenges women would face in a male-dominated field. All I wanted was to see the country, make a living and save for retirement.

I started out running coast-to-coast for a truckload carrier, first as a team operation and then by myself. Those were the days without power steering, air conditioning or air-ride. Women’s showers at truck stops were rare. I was refused service at truckers-only sections of restaurants and ignored at fuel counters. Sexual harassment was rampant.

I learned to be tough. I was lucky to work with some wonderful truckers who helped me learn the industry.

Today, in certain segments, some things haven’t changed.  From drivers not allowed to use restrooms at customers’ docks to filthy truck-stop showers and few items for women to buy in truck-stop stores, there’s much to be done.

I made it in this industry because I wanted to, because I have a strong work ethic and because I thought of myself as a professional, not a woman, driver. I also made it because of men who were not afraid I would take their jobs.

I was so excited when I heard about an organization founded to support the goals of women in this industry. Women in Trucking celebrates the achievements of women, addresses issues important to all drivers, and provides a forum for women to network.

I am proud that YRC Freight is a member of WIT, and I am proud we have men who support this organization by becoming members. Together, we can make a difference.