Schneider has long supported initiatives and programs to support the lifeblood of its industry: truck drivers. In collaboration with Women In Trucking and Schneider driver and trainer Kellylynn McLaughlin, the company is working to raise the number of women in the nation’s driver pool while supporting today’s and tomorrow’s professional truck drivers.
McLaughlin has been appointed as the first Driver Ambassador within Women In Trucking’s diversity recruitment program to encourage people of all genders, particularly females, to consider a career in the trucking industry.
“This role tugs at my heart because I’ve always tried to help others see how fulfilling work in this industry can be,” said McLaughlin, who has also volunteered in the Peace Corps, Truckers Against Trafficking and other driving-related groups throughout the last decade. “I’m looking forward to elevating the shared goals of Women In Trucking and Schneider, promoting and highlighting the achievements of women in transportation.”
Hundreds of women are driving across America’s roads in a Schneider truck today, according to Rob Reich, executive vice president and chief administrative officer at Schneider. “We’re dedicated to growing the number of women drivers every day through our initiatives and with the support of the Women In Trucking Association,” Reich said. “We’re proud to have Kellylynn and her contagious passion for the industry in this exciting role.”
Schneider works continuously and closely with the vice president of Women in Trucking, Debbie Sparks, to lead in attracting and retaining women as professional drivers. Together, the two companies created the Driver Ambassador position to challenge and change what has traditionally been a male-dominated profession.
McLaughlin stood out from other applicants because of her experience in working with new drivers, her understanding of the transportation industry and her passion for educating women about the career opportunities available in trucking.
“We want to encourage the employment of women in the industry,” said Sparks. “Women don’t think of themselves as professional drivers, so when they see Kellylynn they think, ‘If she can do it, I can do it.’ She is sophisticated, articulate, passionate and perfect for this role.”
In her new role, McLaughlin will attend driver events like the Mid-America Trucking Show, Great American Trucking Show and CDL driving training schools. She will also visit conferences like Uber’s Elevate Summit, college campuses and more to attract and engage with potential professional truck drivers.
McLaughlin will have plenty of resources right behind her – literally. Later this year, the trailer she will be pulling will be an interactive exhibit that provides an educational opportunity for all those who explore it. According to Sparks, the trailer, which was donated by Walmart, will present the history of women in trucking, safety resources, steps for how to become a professional truck driver and other information, surveys and games.
To share her experience as the Women In Trucking Driver Ambassador, McLaughlin will be posting her stories on an upcoming Women In Trucking blog. Those interested in her role will soon also find highlights on Schneider’s Slice of Orange driver blog.