The Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada (WTFC) recently unveiled a 2019 Western Star 5700XE with a promotional wrap featuring the organization’s name and pictures of its members as part of an effort to attract more female workers into the industry to become truck drivers.
The 5700XE model, which is owned by Sharp Transportation Systems, has been named “Miss Destiny Star” by company driver Shelley Uvanille-Hesch, who is founder of the WTFC. “I will be driving this truck across Canada and into the U.S. and I know everyone who sees it will be a little more aware that women do work in trucking and that it’s an industry that can provide a good living for them,” she said in a statement.
When Uvanille-Hesch isn’t driving it, she said the truck will make appearances at shows and charitable events across Canada.
Since its founding in 2014, the WTFC has grown to more than 300 members and is active on a number of fronts: from mentoring women in driving school and hosting career events at high schools to giving interviews to polish the public image of truckers. The federation also is involved in several charitable causes and appears at industry events to gain visibility and recruit women drivers, managers, dispatchers and technicians.
Uvanille-Hesch said she contacted Western Star several years ago to help support of the WTFC. Since then, Western Star has been a corporate member of the organization and funded the truck wrap. Since then, the WTFC has worked closely with the group at Highway Western Star in Ayr, Ontario; the dealership where the “Miss Destiny Star” was purchased.
“Western Star has a long heritage of females in executive positions and believes women play a critical role in diversifying our industry,” noted Samantha Parlier, vice president of marketing and strategy for Western Star, in a statement. “We are honored our 5700XE truck model is the flagship representation of this important organization.”
The federation is drawing growing support in the industry. For example, Challenger Motor Freight, one of Canada’s largest trucking firms, recently announced that it would pay a year’s membership dues for any of its female drivers who join WTFC.