Overdrive Magazine

September 2020

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2 | Overdrive | September 2020 V O I C E S Once at a shippers' dock in Texas, owner-operator Sharron Lambert showed at the facility, but with no bays open and no parking available. She had to park across the street and walk over to the booth to begin pick- ing up the load. A dock hand, she said, pointed to her truck and asked, " 'Are you with him?' I said, 'Are you talking to me?' e man said, 'Yeah, are you with him?' As if there's some imaginary man that didn't get out of the truck. I said, 'What are you talking about? I drive this truck.' " She laughs o these types of encounters, which aren't infrequent. Another common one: Getting in- structions from a broker or a shipper/ receiver via phone, she'll hear a phrase like "when he gets here," a reference to an assumed male driver actually working the load. "I usually say, 'He is me. I'm the driver,' " Lambert said. Being an independent owner-operator, "I'm my own dispatcher, too." Lambert's foray into trucking began six years ago. She was on a sec- ond career a er spending 20 years as a computer programmer. She's part of what some see to be a slow but steady demographic shi in trucking as it grows more diverse in gender and race/ethnicity. As has long been the case, the business o ers unique opportunities for entrepreneurship and indepen- dence hard to nd in other careers. Such opportunities for personal and professional success are being seized not just by women, but also by Black women like Lambert. Over time, she's noticed a wave of women entering trucking. "Some- times I bump a dock, and I see a woman on both sides of me," she said. "When I started, seeing a woman truck driver in a typical day used to be odd. I used to feel like I was the only one. Now it's so di erent." Owner-operator Sharae Moore, who's leased to Riverside Transport, likewise feels there's been an increas- ing number of women drawn to trucking in recent years. Moreover, she's actively been working to bring more women in and help them get a start. "I didn't know any women that owned a truck or drove a truck when I rst started," she said. Research from the American Trucking Associations and other organizations has shown women V O I C E S V O I C E S 'He is me. I'm the driver.' Sharron Lambert, with her 2020 Freightliner Cascadia, operates one-truck Independent Motor Carriers based in Carrollton, Georgia. She runs daily between Atlanta and Birmingham, Alabama, working some shipper-direct accounts and with a handful of brokers. She also regularly uses Uber Freight to book loads. Owner-operator Sharae Moore founded and runs the Facebook group She Trucking that has helped shepherd women all the way from obtaining a CDL to becoming an owner-operator.

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