I just returned from Memphis where I gave a seminar called “Social Media and Women Truckers’ at the 1st Annual Memphis Truck Expo.
Two rather broad topics but I decided to include them in one presentation to illustrate the following:
- How powerful social media has been for social justice issues.
- To demonstrate how influential individuals can be in social media.
- To emphasize that persistently covering up issues related to women truckers and to those women entering the industry will eventually come back to haunt carriers who are permitting it to occur.
In the past few months I have been contacted by a number of Social Media Experts & “Guru’s” who have been consulting with various trucking industry entities who are looking to launch social media campaigns.
For someone outside of the trucking industry who is doing research , odds are they will find one of the outspoken social media truckers.
Here is the problem for the trucking industry:
Social Media cannot be “Controlled” the way mainstream media and advertising has been in the past. The trucking industry has been very slow to understand this.
When I spoke to contacts in supply chain / logistics to let them know about my presentation the response was: “Good, someone needs to tell them because they do not get it.”
What this person meant was “Transparency” is what the trucking industry does not get. Saying you are being transparent can just as easily mean you are being a transparent liar but for someone who has never had to do business with all cards on the table this concept is difficult to grasp.
The power of social media is enormous. The first thing the trucking industry needs to recognize is that size does not matter. If your organization does not participate in listening and problem solving you are irrelevant.
Isn’t that logistics?
Unless you have a commitment to positive transparency you will fail in social media. Until the trucking industry can digest that transparency can be positive or negative, I do not recommend wasting any money launching a campaign that will fall flat.
If carriers cannot take the heat in a public forum to have their money source (Shippers) see how they treat employees (Drivers) or how they permit drivers to conduct themselves in public they will have a big problem in social media.
Currently, there are a number of mainstream media projects in development that will feature women truckers. This will inevitably create a recruiting boom for the unethical.
By creating the presentation called “Social Media & Women Truckers”, my hope is to help others in the trucking industry understand that corporate responsibility begins with each and every individual.
What I have referred to as my “Social Media Experiment” to see if one person could have a voice and make an impact is now complete. I achieved my goal BUT I will continue to create a path for others who are searching for accurate information to enter this industry, at least until I see others stepping up to do the right thing.
Unfortunately, Women are still frequently being harmed during their training period, and violence against women in many areas of the trucking industry remains an issue. I will continue to use my social media presence to raise awareness of this fixable problem.
Ironically, Women Truckers to those outside and away from the trucking industry are admired. The image of a woman trucker is held in high esteem as a symbol of resiliency and strength. I have received emails from parents telling me that they hope their Daughters would grow up to be strong like I am, from old ladies telling me to keep talking and heard from Fathers of Daughters who are eager to see who will step up and make the necessary changes to create a more professional environment in the trucking industry.
I’d like to walk away now but it would be irresponsible to do that when few others are stepping forward. Women truckers carry a silent secret, they know others are being harmed in this industry and the truth is it’s best to not get involved for fear of retaliation. Other drivers, both Men and Women have been told “stay out of it” and targeted for retaliation for trying to stick up for someone who has been harmed, this is wrong. This mob mentality, prison inmate mentality, street gang mentality, religion based fanatic mentality must stop. The people being hurt, retaliated against, shunned are the children of someone.
To me, being silent is not okay when someone is being harmed.
Looking the other way is NOT okay!
One person can have an impact and individual drivers participating in social media have seen this is true.
I will be sharing my presentation called “Social Media & Women Truckers” as a series of posts in the coming weeks on the self help website “Real Women In Trucking”
I have included a preview here called:
“What are you Sponsoring?”