One of the key aspects of the Teletrac Navman Driving Change Diversity Program is its role in celebrating women in transport.
Of course, there are other diversities involved in this particular program, but making women feel comfortable about joining the trucking industry is vital, in order to help the industry develop. In this article, PowerTorque is looking at some of the women involved in the Australian Trucking Association’s initiative to enhance diversity.
“If we stand up for what we believe in and get behind each other, we can make change happen,” says Peta Gowans from Kelvin Baxter Transport.
Setting an example of inclusiveness and the benefits of bringing innovative ideas to the task at hand, Peta is the first point of contact at Baxter’s. Peta is a proud Aboriginal woman with strong ties to her heritage and family. Peta believes diversity instils an understanding of difference in every individual.
By getting involved in this program, Peta would like to show young Aboriginal people that where there is opportunity, there is capacity to be treated as an equal, based solely on ability, and a willingness to participate and achieve.
“Diversity is giving people an opportunity to walk into a yard and get a job or make a career for themselves,” says Kerri Connors, Training Supervisor at AJL Training in Tasmania.
Kerri is actively engaged in industry development programs to promote industry image and encourage a more diverse workforce.
Well respected by her peers and industry colleagues, Kerri works to promote career opportunities, while providing training and mentoring to industry drivers and new entrants. Kerri has a desire to positively influence the workforce through quality and relevant industry training.
Kerri hopes to explore strategies for improving workforce diversity and how to provide support to women and young people who are looking to establish a career in the industry.
“The hardest thing is that it is generally not an industry that people choose,” says Lisa Fraser, Member Services Manager at the Queensland Trucking Association. “We want trucking to become an industry of choice, rather than chance.”
Lisa believes diversity means thinking broadly, challenging the norm, influencing change, and supporting people to maximise their potential. From an early age, Lisa has understood the importance of being considerate to others and looking beyond the surface to recognise the strengths of others.
Lisa’s vision for diversity is to have small and medium businesses recognised as the lifeblood of the industry, as she believes they are often overshadowed by larger players due to their size and strength. Lisa also believes the role of women in family businesses must be put on the agenda and recognised for the critical role they play, often in the background, to keep their businesses and families functioning.
Through her involvement with this program, Lisa wants to give a voice to small, medium, and family businesses, to ensure they have the opportunity and tools needed to contribute to solutions that will ensure the viability of road freight in Australia.