For Women’s History Month, Uber Freight is celebrating some of the many women who make up the future of the trucking industry. We hope you are just as inspired by their stories as we are.
More women are joining the logistics industry, but as of last year, only 10% of truck drivers were women. For every one woman behind the wheel in 2019, there were 20 men.
Still, women are gravitating towards trucking for many of the same reasons men do, like the potential to be their own bosses, the ability to travel, and some of the best views an “office” window can provide.
Not everyone enters the industry as a first career—many joined after gaining experience in different fields. We spoke with 6 industry women to find out why they made the switch to trucking and what they love about their jobs.
Sharae Moore came from a family of transportation professionals—her uncle and father were truck drivers and her mother was a bus driver— but she was a certified nursing assistant for 8 years before getting into the cab herself. “I needed a break,” she said. “And I wanted to be free and see the world.” Sharae became much more than just a truck driver. She also founded S.H.E. Trucking, an apparel line and mentorship organization for women in the industry.
Anne Balay has professor, author, mother, activist, car mechanic, and truck driver among her many identities. Anne first turned to trucking after losing a university teaching job. Although she wasn’t on the road for long, her experiences in the industry led her to research and write Semi Queer, a collection of interviews about LGBTQIA+ trucking experience.
A video game turned Ellie O’Daire on to trucking as a potential career. And after working jobs in security and fast food that didn’t make her happy, she was delighted to hit the road. She’s driven professionally for over 3 years and some of her favorite freight is ice cream ingredients.
Kristen Duhr first explored trucking as a toddler, with her father who was a truck driver. She liked driving, but she raced mountain bikes and owned a bike store before committing to trucking as a career. For Kristin, the job provided a welcome solitude and the freedom to see amazing sites across the country.
Jill Maschmeier never planned on joining the trucking industry. She was an oil buyer for 20 years, but her company moved and she couldn’t go with them. A friend connected her to a safety consultant job, which Jill said “was divine intervention in a way. My skills lined up with exactly what they needed.” She worked her way up to become a director of safety compliance . and still loves the daily challenges of her role.
The movie Smokey and the Bandit made Sheryl Fava a truck driver when she was just 9 years old, but she ended up fixing computers as an IT agent. “I’ve always been intrigued by trucks,” she said. “I don’t have a mechanical background but the sound of certain engines is thrilling.” When Sheryl’s youngest son graduated from high school, she finally made the jump to trucking. As an owner-operator, she said, “I don’t regret it at all, and I really like what I do.”