PLOVER, Wis. — The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) has named Amanda McLaurin as its July 2021 Member of the Month. McLaurin is a student who is currently attending truck-driving school in Pennsylvania.
McLaurin, who says she has wanted to earn her CDL since 2019, has several years of courier and delivery experience that she hopes to draw on as she finishes school and begin her trucking career. The maintenance and upkeep of a delivery vehicle can add up fast, so she began looking for a way to do what she loved — deliver freight, provide customer service and enjoy an independent work environment.
McLaurin said her overall experience in CDL school has been a positive one.
“If anything, I think being the only female in a class of eight has helped me adjust to the gender disproportion that still exists in the industry,” McLaurin said. “Just as important, I think it has also helped my classmates learn to be more considerate, respectful and sensitive. I believe that I have gained their trust and respect, and they have gained mine too.”
McLaurin said she joined WIT because she was searching for a welcoming, female-driven environment in which she could ask all the questions she had as a newcomer to the industry. She wanted to connect with more experienced drivers and other women in the field, who could help guide her and encourage her in her steps toward becoming a trucker.
“Don’t let anything distract you from pursuing your dreams,” McLaurin said of pursuing trucking.
“When you are training, it’s not ‘you versus all the big boys.’ It’s you and the truck. Learn it, respect it, and mature in how you handle it. All you are responsible for is learning to drive safely, carrying yourself professionally and maintaining healthy boundaries,” she continued. “Do what you need to in order to achieve those three things. Your journey is your own. Travel it at your own pace, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you work hard, you can get your CDL and step into a world full of possibilities.”
Because of stories like McLaurin’s — new drivers seeking mentors — WIT has partnered with LeadHER Alliance to develop a new program to connect recent female truck driving school graduates to experienced professional female drivers. The 10-month mentorship program, this month, is designed to support new drivers during the most transitional period of their truck driving career.