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Bill looks to boost women behind the big rig

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -- "As our economy is bouncing back from the pandemic, I think we have to remove any barriers that get in the way of women pursuing and keeping careers in trucking so that we can move forward and help working families get ahead," said Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).

The "Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act" aims to support women in the trucking industry. It has the backing of various shipping and trucking organizations, such as FedEx and United Parcel Service (UPS).

"This bill will actually support what we've been doing for 14 years anyway. And I'm thrilled that we're getting legislative recognition for not only our efforts but also other efforts for trying to make a more gender-diverse trucking industry," said Ellen Voie, President, CEO, and Founder of the Women in Trucking Association.

"The bill actually creates a Women in Trucking advisory committee at the federal motor carrier safety administration. So that means not only will other organizations be supporting our mission, but they'll be helping us work on bringing more women into this industry," Voie said.

The board would then identify barriers that women face in the industry and organize education and training programs to address them.

"The trucking industry has needed good drivers for many years and its just gotten worse. Since women make up 50% of the population, there's no reason to think that women can't make 50% of our driving professionals, as well. So that's our goal," said Voie.

And if you're a woman thinking about entering the business, here's some advice.

"For the women that are second-guessing it give it a shot, it's well worth it," said Demetria Grayson, Flatbed Driver at Roehl Transport, "I know it is looked upon as a dominant industry for men, but we also get a lot of help from being out here in this industry. So I encourage a lot of women to get into it."

Jade Henschel

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