Freightliner Continues to Support Women In Trucking with Women’s Interactive Network
Freightliner Trucks and their parent company, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) support women in trucking in two significant ways – through the Women in Trucking (WIT) Association and through an in-house program called Women’s Interactive Network (WIN).
Women’s Interactive Network
Because Daimler greatly values workplace diversity, the company has created employee resource groups such as the Women’s Interactive Network. Mary Aufdemberg, DTNA’s director of product marketing, says the Women’s Interactive Network is designed “to foster and support a culture of inclusiveness, engagement and leadership development.”
This resource group specifically aims to boost career development for women working within Daimler and Freightliner. The program includes activities in three categories:
- Providing women working in the organization with training and leadership opportunities.
- Exposing women to the company’s products to expand their knowledge of the core business.
- Creating a dynamic, diverse workplace that prepares women to take on senior positions within DTNA or Freightliner.
To reach those goals, the program includes guest speakers on diversity-related topics, networking events, product fair sponsorships, meetings that focus on leadership, communication and professionalism and charitable activities that provide leadership opportunities for women. As part of that process, Aufdemberg says it makes sense to share best practices with WIT’s members, so they can create similar groups within their own organizations.
Among her responsibilities overseeing marketing strategy for Freightliner Trucks, Aufdemberg is responsible for managing promotions, industry events, brand communications, business sales tools, training and interactive initiatives. She was invited to join the Women in Trucking Board of Directors in 2014.
Women in Trucking
Created in 2007, this national association has about 4000 members – both individuals and companies – in North America, Japan, Australia, South Africa and Sweden. Among their projects to assist members, WIT has produced an anti-harassment guide for carrier members as well as a recruiting guide, and they worked with the Girl Scouts of America to create a Transportation Patch to encourage girls to start thinking about potential careers in the industry.
The organization’s official mission is “to encourage employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and help minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry.” Although it is women-focused, about 16% of WIT”s membership is men.
Ellen Voie, Women in Trucking’s President and CEO, says, “We truly appreciate the support DTNA has provided to WIT as a Gold Level Partner, but also their continued support as a sponsor of our annual ‘Salute to Women Behind the Wheel’ event held each March.” She says “DTNA has been even more instrumental in ensuring WIT is a resource for companies in the trucking industry that are looking for ways to expand their diversity efforts” and cites Freightliner’s WIN initiative as an excellent tool to help reach that goal.