Women truck drivers focus of cruise & conference

Women in the trucking industry is the focus of a conference “Queen of the Road on the High Seas” to be held March 26 through April 1 aboard the Carnival Conquest as it cruises the Eastern Caribbean.

The six-night cruise will depart from Ft. Lauderdale for the Eastern Caribbean with stops at Grand Turk, Dominican Republic and Nassau.

The Carnival Conquest

Sponsored by REAL Women in Trucking, Inc. (RWIT), the conference includes sessions on:

  • Personal safety
  • Discrimination
  • Sexual harassment
  • Driver health
  • Improving technical skills for drivers
  • Transitioning company drivers to owner-operator
  • Advocacy through social media

There will also be driver advocacy forum, a woman truck driver roundtable and an awards ceremony recognizing women who have overcome obstacles in the truck driving industry.

Speakers include Allen Smith, host of ‘Ask the Trucker;’ Anne Balay, author of Steel Closets: Voices of Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Steelworkers, a former truck driver, and writer of a recent op-ed published in The New York Times “Long-Haul Sweatshops;” and Christine Gray, Becca Kennedy and Shannon Morris, truck drivers, and advocates for the safety and success of women truck drivers.

Organizers say the conference schedule has been planned to allow leisure time to enjoy cruise activities. 

Nominations for outstanding female truck drivers, the “Queen of the Road” awards, are welcome. Awards will be presented to three outstanding women who have demonstrated dedication and tenacity in their efforts to become professional commercial motor vehicle operators. Nominees must either be past or present CMV drivers that fit the R.E.A.L. criteria, which stands for Reaching Out, Encouraging Others, Achieving Personal Success and Leadership. Nominations will be accepted beginning Sept. 1 and close Nov. 7.

“This conference is important to our efforts of breaking the silence about the treatment of women in the trucking industry,” said Desiree Wood, one of RWIT’s founders. “At the conference, we hope to provide the tools women need to be more successful in their chosen field.  Along with information sessions, participants will have the opportunity to network with fellow drivers. Learning from one another and unifying on important issues is one of our primary goals.”

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For more information, contact Wood at 561-232-9170 or [email protected].

See rates, schedule and other details.