Comment: Let's celebrate women in trucking

By: Meryn Morrison, WiRT Chairperson

It's high time the trucking community recognise the many women contributing to the industry in NZ

There are so many women making a massive contribution to our industry. I should know because as chair of the Women in Road Transport network, I get to talk to them, learn from them, and be inspired by them nearly every day. Unfortunately, there have been few opportunities to acknowledge the great work of these women, until now.


I am excited that this year’s NZ Road Transport Industry Awards will, for the first time, feature a category aimed specifically at the achievements of women in the industry—the Teletrac Navman Outstanding Contribution by a Woman in the Road Transport Industry Award.

We know that traditionally, road transport has not been dominated by women, and with no disrespect to the others doing the job, but there are many outstanding women who are making their careers in the industry and are making major contributions to the companies they work for. We all want to encourage a more diverse workforce so it great that our industry awards will finally help to do that.

Nominations for the Teletrac Navman Outstanding Contribution by a Woman Award are welcome for any woman within the industry who displays any of the following attributes, including (but not exclusively):

  • Actions or activities that have enhanced the public image of our industry.
  • Successful promotion of the benefits of diversity to organisations and companies involved in the industry.
  • An innovative approach to industry practices that help to encourage and enhance the standing of women in road transport.
  • Promotion, or inception, of a successful training programme that encourages or assists the progression of women in road transport.

Nominations are open until 30 August 2019 and can be sent to The awards will be presented at the NZ Road Transport Industry Awards Gala Dinner at Wairakei Resort, Taupo, on 25 September.

I’d also like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the guys at Carter’s Tyre Service who have partnered with Women in Road Transport to run this year’s ‘Show us your Wheels’ photo competition. Running until 31 August 2019, this is a chance for women drivers to send us a picture of their truck with a particular emphasis on its shiny wheels and blackened tyres.

To enter, send in a photo of your truck, possibly in a picturesque setting, along with your name, contact number, and where you were when the picture was taken to

All entries will be posted on the WiRT Facebook page and the overall winner will be chosen by Carter’s CEO Matt Carter. We have weekly prizes and announcements of those soon.

Finally, unless you’ve been living under a rock over the last couple of years you would be aware of the international #metoo movement that is tackling sexual assault and harassment, primarily against women.

The transport industry is, of course, not immune to these issues. What particularly concerns me is that trucking has long suffered from a culture where those who work within it are reluctant to speak out when things go bad. This is a phenomenon that exists right across the industry globally and is as true for men as it is for women.

The fact of the matter is that it’s not acceptable to have to deal with any kind of sexual harassment, demeaning behaviour, or abuse while at work. This goes for interactions with workmates as much as it does with customers or employers.

It is, therefore, absolutely critical that transport companies have in place HR programmes that seek to protect their employees and drivers and provide them with a safe and appropriate complaints process.

If you want to know how to make a complaint or how to prevent and respond to sexual harassment or bullying in the workplace, it’s worth visiting and looking up their sexual harassment and bullying advice guides for employees and employers.  

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