The transportation industry has always been considered a “man’s world.” When we look back to the early days of transportation, names like Luella Bates or Lillie Drennen are rarely mentioned. However, these women and countless more have helped pave the way for a brighter future for women in transportation.
Today, we’re seeing women make huge strides not only in their careers but in the industry as a whole.
At ENERGY, we’re fortunate to have hard-working, talented and passionate women on our team. In honor of International Women’s Day, we decided to shine a light on four leading ladies who inspire us:
Caitlin Birenbaum: Digital Marketing Specialist
Angie Sicurella: Logistics Coordinator
Johanne Delisle: Senior Advisor Logistics Solutions
Pascale Dube: Former Truck Driver, now Dispatcher
What highlights and challenges have you faced in your career?
Having been in the industry for well over 25 years, there have been challenges and over time, they have evolved along with the industry. In the early years, gaining credibility in a male-dominated industry was key. Hard work, useful knowledge, integrity, and tenacity were qualities clients came to appreciate. In recent years, shippers have developed more sophisticated supply chain measurement tools, it forces one to always be on top of important issues in the moment.
One interesting observation, over the last decade or more, we see many important supply chain and senior management positions being filled by dynamic, qualified women. One of the benefits of having been in the industry for some time is the lasting relationships and those particular people we’re always happy to see. Another aspect that I’ve always found to be of interest is the opportunity to visit our clients and learn about different manufacturing techniques.
I am fortunate to witness the growth of this company, having been here since its inception. I feel like I make a real contribution to that growth and will continue to do so for time to come.
My journey through the world of transportation has not been easy, but every single company I worked for offered very different realities. I am truly proud of the fact that I hold my own in a “boy’s world” and make a place for myself based on my expertise in the field. I can definitely say that it isn’t easy, as we (women) are the minority, but my passion for what I do gets me through the harsher times.
Mon plus gros défis a été de persévérer malgré le jugement des autres en 1998 il n’y avait pratiquement pas de femme au volant de camion, mais c étais mon rêve.
Pour se qui est de la réalisation c’est d’avoir « rouler d’un océan à l’autre, du nord jusqu’au sud de New York à San Diego, de Vancouver à Miami, d’avoir fait parti des convois d’aide humanitaire lors de l’ouragan Katrina en Louisiane. »
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?
Simply said, believe in your instincts and persist. Nothing worthwhile happens without some effort. People see things differently. People are different. Nonetheless, if you believe in your choices, see it through to the end, regardless of the outcome.
The most important lesson I’ve learned in my career, so far, is that “There is no I in Team”. No matter what the percentage of effort I have given into a project or goal, the important factor to remember is that we are ONE entity and we are striving towards the same goal. The individual work we do is a part of the collaborative effort towards the success of our company. I hope this lesson spreads further into my life. Our world is full of “I” and I believe it needs more “Us”.
Is there anything you would do differently knowing what you know now?
I would encourage more women to have the courage to storm the field and create a bigger place for themselves in the industry – especially in managerial positions.
Quand je regarde mon parcours j’en suis très fière, alors non je ne ferais rien de diffèrent.
I will push for a more inclusive workplace and support women at every turn.
What does it mean to be a woman in your position?
Even in 2019, the transportation industry is still largely male-dominated. The workplace environment is far different today but as a woman, you can’t help the feeling that you need to stay half a step ahead. That being said, there is no denying the cultural improvements in the workplace over the years.
It means to break barriers in terms of gender roles in the workplace. It means to have confidence in one’s abilities and to know that you have your place so long as you make it.
What advice can you offer to women who want a career in transportation?
De ne pas abandonner au premier obstacle, d’être forte et de s’armer de patience.
It’s not easy but the fast-paced environment is exciting. The business is essentially about ensuring that anything that needs to get somewhere, gets there. It’s our supply of food, medicine and pharmaceutical’s, clothing, furniture and electronics, and anything else one can imagine. Our industry is a key factor in overall economic health. The trucking industry delivers all things, to all people, at all times. Noble in its own way.
How do you feel ENERGY contributes to #BalanceforBetter?
By hiring women in managerial positions, they are paving the path towards a more balanced workplace. I feel that entrusting women with the future of the company can only make it stronger.
Je crois que ENERGY très bien compris que les femmes avaient leur place, et qu’elles font de l’excellent travail.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
As a young woman, I am fortunate to have been respected and made to feel equal by the people in my life and my surroundings. However, the importance of the Day is not to be taken lightly. It’s my responsibility as a woman to create awareness, to be a fighter and to be an advocate. I owe this motivation to women of the past and future. I represent the women who had or have no voice. I am someone who drives change for future women of this world.
Énormément, cela signifie que nous avons notre place dans tous les domaines de travail, et cela démontre le chemin parcouru par les pionnières, tous les droit acquis par elles ne doive jamais être perdu, et ne doive qu’augmenter pour en arriver au pied d’égalité avec les hommes.
Which female leader do you admire and why?
At this stage in life watching my 22 years old daughter navigate her professional realm is inspiring. Her determination coupled with talent makes her a force. Already in a management position at a young age, there’s no limit in site and it’s a pleasure to watch.
Oprah! She is a perfect example of a woman trying to make it in a “boys’ world”. Journalism wasn’t very kind to women through the 70s and 80s, and yet her perseverance and strength propelled her to stardom and allowed her to build an empire that still stands today. It’s an admirable thing to consider the results of all her efforts.
I really admire my mom! She worked a full-time job, came home and still gave 110%! She raised me to be independent and strong, even through adversity. When I was younger, she was the best provider and instilled in me to be compassionate, hard-working and respectful. Also, she makes the best dinners!
At ENERGY, we’re lucky to have such amazing women in our company who inspire and support us every day! This International Women’s Day let’s remember to show our gratitude towards the women in our lives and empower them every chance we get!