The Women In Trucking Association, Inc. is a nonprofit organization formed to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments, and minimize the obstacles women face when working in the trucking industry.
Since our goal is to introduce women and girls to careers in transportation, we need to encourage the next generation of drivers, technicians, and managers to pursue these careers. Girls need to see women in these roles so they can imagine themselves in the same careers.
More importantly, we want children to understand the importance of the trucking industry so they can relate the trucks on the road to their own lives.
In October 2014, 84 young girls gathered at Olive Harvey School in Chicago, Illinois, for the first Girl Scout Transportation event. An engineer talked to these girls about how she was designing trucks to better accommodate women. They also got to meet two female professional drivers and climb into the cabs of their trucks.
This was the very first Girl Scout event initiated by Women In Trucking Association. Since then, dozens of events have been held in the United States and Canada (where they are called Girl Guides).
The purpose of the Transportation Patch is to expose young girls to careers in the supply chain. Whether trucks, boats, airplanes, or pipelines, more than 1,000 young girls have now earned the Women In Trucking Transportation Patch.
Inquiries continue to come in from all over the world. Trucking companies initiate many of the events, but some are from truck driving schools, others are from truck dealers, and many are through Girl Scout Troops themselves.
Each year, the University of Wisconsin-Superior holds a Girl Scout Transportation Day. We start the morning with young girls eager to learn about transportation.
We talk about the supply chain of their Girl Scout cookies, which get transported as grain, by truck, from farms to bakeries, then (as cookies) to packaging and distribution centers, before deliveries are finally made from the Girl Scouts to the customer.
By the end of the day, the girls had learned about all modes of transportation and, more importantly, they were exposed to people who operated these engines and what their jobs entail.
We already had an activity book called “Shelby’s Big Rig Day,” but we wanted to have an activity book that explained how cookies are transported from the field to the customer. The University of Wisconsin-Superior gave us the meants.
The “Scouting for Cookies” activity book teaches children how a truck is involved in the process of getting the grain from the fields to the bakery, and then on to the packaging and distribution facilities. When they see a truck, they might think about whether their own cookies are in the trailer.
In addition to the patch and two activity books, we created Clare, the truck driver doll, that will make children think about a career as a truck driver from an early age. One goal is to have more dolls that have different roles in trucking (technician, dispatcher, etc.) and, of course, more ethnically diverse girls so we can be more inclusive.
The Women In Trucking Association developed the curriculum and patches with the Greater Chicago/Northern Indiana regional office. The curriculum is free to corporate members of the association and the patches can be purchased at our cost.
We are excited about the opportunity to share information about the supply chain with the next generation of drivers, technicians, and managers. For more information about the Women In Trucking’s Girl Scout (Guide) Transportation Patch and curriculum, email [email protected] or call (888) 464-9482.