Women in Trucking members gathered in Louisville Saturday morning in numbers to celebrate the accomplishments of women in the trucking industry -- and to try to set a record, with a group photograph of the most women CDL holders together. Well, that world record was set in 2004 in The Netherlands as 416 women came together. While the WIT did not break the world record, they set a North American record. WIT President Ellen Voie announced this morning that 275 CDL-holding women were on hand for the event.
The event was held in a large conference room upstairs in the Kentucky Expo Center. With the women participating all wearing red T-shirts, the scene was a sea of red. As they lined up and entered a main door, they were greeted by Ellen, members of the WIT board, and special guest Anne Ferro, FMCSA Administrator (pictured above). Greeters cheered and applauded every single woman. I was reminded of a high school champion team coming home after winning state -- except this team of winners was all women. Many were accompanied by husbands, partners and family, even proud employers.
In Administrator Ferro's remarks, she congratulated the women for their safety records, for their tenacity, and for their contributions to the industry. She said women truckers compose 5 percent of the nation's truck drivers. Her comment "Let's DOUBLE IT!" drew thunderous cheering.
Ellen introduced 60 drivers with safety records of a million miles, 28 drivers with 2 million mile safety records and 14 women drivers with 3 million safe miles on the road. Each came to the front and was greeted by Anne, who gave them an envelope with a certificate. Together, these women represented 61 million safe miles driven.
Sometimes I amazed at how many acquaintances I have made in the 22 years I've covered the industry. Many of them are women, and many were here today.
The whole room emptied to an area downstairs to have the Salute photo taken. It's a photo we'll be sure to share. Watch for it.