Column: Woman representing our industry

By: Carol McGeady

In the first part of a series, NZTA's Carol McGeady talks us through her journey in the industry

While Deals on Wheels readers know Women in Road Transport chair Meryn Morrison from her regular columns, we thought we should also introduce you to the other members of WiRT’s Governance Group. In the first of our series, New Zealand Trucking Association’s Carol McGeady talks us through her journey as a leading advocate for women in the industry.

Carol led the New Zealand Trucking team in establishing the Safety MAN Road Safety Truck

I became involved in the trucking industry in 2013 joining the New Zealand Trucking Association as the office manager. Since then, I have had several promotions and am now the association’s general manager. I come from a marketing/design background and have successfully managed to integrate those skills into my roles with New Zealand trucking.

Shortly after starting at the association, I decided to visit the Melbourne Truck Show while on holiday, as I wanted to learn more about trucks and how the Australians market their road transport industry. As a result of the ideas gained in Australia, the New Zealand Trucking Association launched the first-ever Trucking Industry Show, held in Christchurch in 2014.

Due to the success, we decided to hold it biannually and establish the show as a premium event on the New Zealand road transport calendar. While managing the ongoing growth of the association and the demands that come with organising the show, our office has managed to build a formidable team of women who are as enthusiastic as I am about trucking.

Trucking Industry Show

Our aim is to make the association’s initiatives even bigger and better in the future. In 2020, the Trucking Industry Show, now sponsored by our friends at TMC Trailers, will see transport industry professionals competing for five national titles for the first time, including the TR Group New Zealand Truck Driving Championships, Mimico Excavator Competition, Liebherr Crane Competition, Hyundai Forklift Championships, and the Tyre-Technician Championships.

These competitions celebrate the wide variety of skills among our professional drivers and logistics professionals and showcase the career opportunities within the sector. My theory is if we don’t showcase the industry, people won’t know how great it is or the opportunities that are available within it.

In 2017, I led the New Zealand Trucking team in establishing the Safety MAN Road Safety Truck, inspired by the Australian Trucking Associations’ Volvo Safety Truck. I put together a group of industry sponsors and supporters, so that we could launch the Share the Road with Big Trucks and Healthy Truck Driver programmes alongside the Safety Truck and deliver to schools, communities, and transport companies.

I quickly realised that trucking people know about trucks but the general public don’t, so other road users make risky decisions when engaging with larger vehicles. We put all the programmes together in-house and designed the inside of the trailer to be a familiar and interactive environment for people to learn in.

There’s never a normal day at the office for me. The New Zealand Trucking Association runs with an open-door policy and everyone is welcome to visit. In my role, I sit on various road safety committees and attend industry conferences in New Zealand and overseas.

I develop initiatives to help grow the association and I am always looking for ways that we can support our members and help them run sustainable and profitable businesses. I am proud to be on the WiRT Governance Group and I am motivated to continue to promote positive change in the industry.

Sadly, there are still many instances of bias against women. I’d like to see more women find their way into key management roles and on to transport company boards. My goal is to help make the industry more exciting, engaging, and the first-choice career for young people coming out of school. Finally, I am passionate about making sure our industry is as safe as possible to work in.

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