PLOVER, Wis. — Trucker Shannon Smith, a member of Women In Trucking since 2007, is the subject of a feature story in TV star Oprah Winfrey’s magazine, O, about unrecognized jobs that support America.
In 2008 Smith was interviewed by Career World magazine where she talked about her childhood desire to drive a truck and the story was discovered by Jeanne Marie Laskas, who wrote the story in O, and who also is writing a book about the subject, according to WIT.
As a child, Smith watched big rigs on the highway in her home state of Georgia and told herself one day she would “blow that horn.”
Her dad was a diesel mechanic and gave her some advice: Learn how to fix an engine if she wanted to drive an 18-wheeler. Smith took that to heart and joined up with the Army Reserves because they could teach her how.
At the ripe old age of 23 Smith, who lives in Cleveland, attended truck driving school and has been a professional driver since then.
“Shannon’s story has done more to show women that they can have a great career as a professional driver by sharing her story with O Magazine than this industry could have imagined,” said Ellen Voie, president and CEO of Women In Trucking.
It’s estimated that women still make up only about 5 percent of the professional driving industry, and the number of black women drivers is even smaller, according to WIT.
“I consider everyone the same, regardless of whether they are black or white, male or female, or young or old,” Smith said, adding that as long as everyone is doing his or her job, they should be considered the same.
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