Opinion

Initiating a pathway into the industry for everyone

In the past few weeks I have been able to fly to Sydney to present about ‘Women Breaking Glass Ceilings in Transport Operations’, then go home to central western NSW to visit family and manage to fit in a meeting with the remarkable Sally Tipping of Dubbo.

So great to find a kindred spirit and to share our passion for this amazing industry.

On April 14, I travelled to Cooma at the invitation of the Snowy Monaro Regional Council to a great event organised by them, to speak about training and retaining women in the transport industry.

But of course we need PEOPLE we should not restrict ourselves by concentrating on women and youth. We need to broaden horizons to our veterans, to immigrants and refugees and to those wanting a change of career.

There is no way that women and youth will be able to fill all the roles and all the vacancies in the trucking industry, and this is not restricted to drivers but operations personnel, technicians etc.,  that are going to become available over the next few years as the older generation retire, and the generation that grew this industry back in the 1970s, many of them returning Vietnam veterans.

We will, of course, be addressing some of these issues in our Driving the Difference Conference to be held in just a few weeks at the Hyatt Place in Melbourne; addressing the issues of women in non-traditional roles in a predominantly male industry.

There are many successful women in this field, and we need to use them as role models, but we also need to have the elders of our industry as visible role models throughout the general community, speaking at schools, universities, colleges, and on YouTube and other social media, where young people spend their time, talking up the positives of the transport industry.

How high-tech it is, how safe it is, even though that’s not how we’re portrayed in the general media.

We need to talk about all the different roles available and pique their interest and show how far they can go.

Once the younger generation realise the high technology capacity of this industry, they will start to become interested but most of them don’t even realise it exists.

Until we get them interested, we’re never going to initiate a pathway into the industry for them.

This is one of the reasons that Transport Women Australia Limited has so many programmes to show pathways to today’s young women and other people and to assist them once they are in the industry.

To learn about these initiatives and more, be sure to attend the Driving the Difference Conference to be held on May 28-30.

Everyone is welcome at the event and we look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones.

You can book here or for further information, please contact me on chair@transportwomen.com.au or 0417 422 319.

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