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Empowering the Road: Celebrating Women’s History Month in Trucking

Posted in Blog, News  
Monday, March 11, 2024

As we step into the month of March, we not only embrace the promise of spring but also pause to honor Women's History Month. At NTB, we want to pay tribute to the remarkable achievements of women in trucking. Here are the tales of some extraordinary female truck drivers of the past, showcasing their courage and resilience, and a glimpse into why women excel as truck drivers.

Legendary Female Truck Drivers

  1. Mary Fields (1832-1914): Fields, the second woman to join the U.S. Postal Service, was a true pioneer. Affectionately known as "Stagecoach Mary," she fearlessly charted her route with a rifle on her shoulder and a .38 Smith & Wesson revolver tucked beneath her apron. Leading her team of six horses and a mule named Moses, Fields left an indelible imprint on the industry, a legacy we are proud to celebrate.
  2. Lillie Drennan (1897-1974): Lillie Drennan, the "First Lady of Trucking," was a beacon of resilience and determination. Overcoming numerous obstacles, she became the first woman to obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) in 1929. Drennan's journey didn't stop there; she went on to establish her own trucking company, inspiring countless women to follow in her footsteps.
  3. Luella Bates (1897-1975): Bates, the first female commercial truck driver, was a true trailblazer. She not only test-drove Model B trucks but also excelled as a mechanic and truck inspector. Bates' multifaceted talents shattered gender stereotypes and paved the way for greater inclusivity in the industry.
  4. Adriesue “Bitsy” Gomez (1940s-2015): Inspired by her admiration for truck drivers, Gomez embarked on a professional driving career as a single mother raising three daughters. Gomez felt compelled to instigate change within the industry and fight against gender discrimination. In the 1970s, she founded the Coalition of Women Truck Drivers, comprising 150 members dedicated to challenging sexism and discrimination in the trucking industry. The group actively advocated for improvements, such as increasing the number of women's restrooms at truck stops and working towards creating a safer and more inclusive space for women drivers.

Why Women Make Great Truck Drivers

  1. Attention to Detail: Women are often praised for their attention to detail, a crucial skill in trucking. From monitoring the vehicle's performance to ensuring cargo safety, women drivers excel in handling intricate tasks with precision.
  2. Effective Communication: Effective communication is key in the trucking industry. Women are known for their strong communication skills, helping them navigate efficiently on the road and maintain clear lines of communication with dispatchers and fellow drivers.
  3. Safety First Mentality: Safety is paramount in the trucking world, and women drivers are renowned for their commitment to safe driving practices. Studies have shown that women tend to have fewer accidents and adopt a more cautious approach on the road, making them ideal in the driver’s seat.
  4. Adaptability: Trucking often requires adaptability to changing schedules, weather conditions, and unexpected challenges. Women consistently prove to be quick learners, flexible in the face of adversity, and adept at navigating the unpredictable nature of the job.
  5. Team Collaboration: Whether driving solo or as part of a team, women contribute to the sense of community and teamwork within the industry. Exemplified through all the legendary female truck drivers of the past, but particularly Gomez, women consistently advocate for each other, showing endless support and encouragement.

This Women's History Month, we celebrate the incredible achievements of women in trucking, both past and present. At NTB, we are proud to support and encourage diversity within our workforce. As we look towards the future, we continue to welcome more women to join our ranks and make their mark on the road. Connect with us today to see what a career at NTB can do for you.