History of Women in the Trucking Industry

Posted 03/11/14

The accomplishments of women are being highlighted and celebrated throughout March to mark Women’s History Month. The theme this year, “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment,” honors the extraordinary and often unrecognized determination and tenacity of women. Let’s take a look back at one of the most inspirational women in the trucking industry.

Courage and tenacity definitely describes Lillie Drennan who is recognized as the country’s first female licensed commercial truck driver and trucking company owner. In 1929 when Drennan started out, she crossed paths with many who were critical of her doing the job.

Her critics increased when she took over the day-to-day operation of the Texas-based Drennan Truck Line, a company she founded with her ex-husband in 1929. Drennan operated the firm for 24 years and is noted for helping increase the ranks of female truck drivers, especially during World War II.

During a 2010 speech, Anne S. Ferro, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, described Drennan as a woman determined to be the best at what she did.

“She was fearless,” Ferro said.

Today as women make up 5% of the trucking industry, they follow in the footsteps of professionals like Drennan whose professionalism and dedication can serve as an example for today’s female truckers. More and more women are joining the ranks with an increasing number starting their own trucking companies.

International Women’s Day, annually on March 8, this year focused on inspiring change for women in several arenas from leadership roles to the fields of science, engineering and technology.

Whether talking about trucking or technology, iGlobal salutes the many women who play a role in these industries. It is likely Drennan would have embraced technological advances like the MDTs (mobile data terminals) for fleet management to get the job done faster and more efficient.

We’d like to hear about other great women in trucking and technology. Share their stories with us in the comment section below or chat with us on Twitter @iGlobal_LLC.


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