Plover, WI – July 1, 2021 – The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) has announced Amanda McLaurin as its July 2021 Member of the Month. She is a student currently attending truck driving school in Pennsylvania.
McLaurin has several years of courier and delivery experience that she hopes to draw on as she finishes school and begins her career. Since 2019, she has wanted to earn her CDL. The maintenance and upkeep of a delivery vehicle can add up fast, so she began looking for a way to do what she loved: delivery, customer service, and an independent work environment, in a financially sustainable way.
McLaurin’s overall experience in CDL school has been a positive one. “If anything, I think being the only female in a class of eight has helped me adjust to the gender disproportion that still exists in the industry (even though it’s getting better). Just as important, I think it has also helped my classmates learn to be more considerate, respectful and sensitive. I believe that I have gained their trust and respect, and they have gained mine too,” she said.
McLaurin joined WIT because she was searching for a welcoming, female-driven environment where she could ask all of her questions as a newcomer. Entering a male-dominated industry with very little prior exposure to it can be daunting. She wanted to connect with more experienced drivers, and other women in the field, who could help guide her and encourage her in her steps toward becoming a trucker.
“Having a mentor is incredibly important,” said McLaurin. “I am fortunate to have found a mentor in a supportive male driver. He is a great resource and gives me sound advice when I need it.” Having previously been a driver trainer, he is eager to teach and has the patience and experience to know the common pitfalls a new driver is likely to face. McLaurin added, “beyond that, having his support has helped keep me going after my goal many times when I felt like giving up. I wouldn’t have made it this far without him.”
McLaurin offered this advice for others considering a career in trucking, but who feel intimidated about giving it a try: “Don’t let anything distract you from pursuing your dreams. When you are training, it’s not ‘you versus all the big boys.’ It’s you and the truck. Learn it, respect it, and mature in how you handle it. All you are responsible for is learning to drive safely, carrying yourself professionally, and maintaining healthy boundaries. Do what you need to in order to achieve those three things. Your journey is your own. Travel it at your own pace, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you work hard, you can get your CDL, and step into a world full of possibilities. No matter what, never give up!”
It is the stories of mentorship like McLaurin’s that has inspired WIT to partner with LeadHER Alliance to develop a new program to connect recent female truck driving school graduates to experienced professional female drivers. The 10-month mentorship program, launching mid-July, supports new drivers during the most transitional period of their truck driving career. For more information about the program contact Debbie@WomenInTrucking.org.
(pictured below is Adult & Continuing Education Center Commercial Truck Driving Graduate Amanda McLaurin)