DriveHERS: Women in Trucking

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, it’s vital to acknowledge the significant strides made by women in traditionally male-dominated industries. In particular, the trucking sector stands as a testament to the resilience and determination of women who have paved their paths behind the wheel. From challenging stereotypes to breaking barriers, women have revolutionized the trucking industry, shaping its future and inspiring generations to come. Let’s delve into their remarkable journey and explore the impactful role of women in trucking.

Mary "Stagecoach" Fields

Mary Fields, also known as Stagecoach Mary, made history as the first Black woman employed as a Star Route postwoman in the United States. Born into slavery in 1832 and emancipated in 1865, Mary was a domestic servant for most of her life. However, at the age of 60, Mary secured a job as a Star Route Carrier. From 1895-1903, she held a contract to deliver mail from Cascade, Montana to Saint Peter’s Mission, a route known for its rocky terrain. Standing six feet tall and equipped with a fierce temper, Stagecoach Mary was a formidable presence in the American Old West.

Luella Bates

Luella Bates, the first licensed woman truckdriver, made history as one of six female employees chosen by the Four Wheel Drive Auto Co. as test and demonstration drivers from 1918 to 1922. During World War I, Bates tested Model B trucks throughout Wisconsin, and in 1920, she became the first woman truck driver to receive a driver’s license in New York. After the war ended, and most female workers were laid off, Luella remained with the company as a demonstrator and driver.

Lois Cooper

Lois Cooper broke barriers in 1953 as the first female African American transportation engineer hired at the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). Rising from an engineering aide to a project manager, she became the first African American woman in California to pass the Professional Engineers (PE) License Exam. Cooper contributed to major projects like the I-105 Century Freeway and advocated for STEM education through the Los Angeles Council of Black Professional Engineers.

Lillie Drennan

In 1928, Lillie Drennan and her husband Willard used their open-cab Ford Model T to start the Drennan Truck Line (DTL) company. Following their divorce in 1929, Lillie became the sole owner of DTL and the first woman to own a trucking company in the United States. Notably, in the same year, she became the first woman to be a licensed truck driver in Texas.

Adriesue Gomez

A prominent figure in the 1970s transportation feminist movement, Adriesue Gomez dedicated her life to truck driving. Adriesue, known for her passion for trucking, headed to California with her three children to join the industry. However, she quickly realized the industry, by design, excluded women. Gomez founded the Coalition of Women Truck Drivers to combat discrimination and sexism, advocating for equal treatment and facilities for women in the industry. Her bold personality and relentless advocacy made her a pioneer for female truck drivers until her passing in 2015.

At Truckload Connections, we take pride in supporting the women on our team and all women who choose careers behind the wheel. We acknowledge their hard work, dedication, and the valuable role they play in keeping our industry moving forward. Thank you to all the trailblazers who have paved the way for women in trucking, and here’s to a future where gender equality is the norm on the open road.

Your Freight, Our Connection
Copyright © 2024 Company Name