International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day celebrates and recognizes the achievements of women around the world, highlighting social, economic, cultural and political accomplishments, in particular. This event is celebrated annually on March 8 and has been around for more than 100 years. Some countries have even declared International Women’s Day as a national holiday!
As a strong supporter of female-focused industry organizations, like Women in Trucking (WIT), and an advocate for increasing gender diversity, Great Dane is proud to celebrate International Women’s Day and pay homage to our many hardworking female employees as well as all women in the transportation industry.
According to the WIT index, women make up approximately 7.89 percent of the driver population, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that roughly 29.2 percent of women make up the manufacturing population. While these statistics are up from previous years, this is still a highly male-dominated industry. Organizations like WIT are working to eliminate the obstacles that prevent women from entering and succeeding in the industry. Great Dane is honored to employ women across all of its departments, including sales, engineering, IT and manufacturing.
One of Great Dane’s female employees, in particular, is working hard to break down barriers for other women in the industry. Laura Roan Hays has been in the transportation industry for more than 30 years. She began her career as an administrative assistant in 1989 and worked her way up to Regional Sales Manager, leading the Great Dane Tampa and Miami branches.
“The first step is to learn as much, if not more than, your male counterparts,” Laura advises. “You have to be willing to ask lots of questions, even if they seem trivial. Be a sponge – gain knowledge from the right people and make sure you surround yourself with individuals that are willing to listen and help guide you.”
Over the course of her career, Laura has chosen to be one of those people. She knows the importance of a great mentor and strives to be one herself to the other women at Great Dane and throughout the industry. One way she does this is through her work with WIT. She is a former board member and continues to play an active role in the organization.
“I love this industry. I’ve made some of the best friends in my life being a part of this industry,” she said. “And for me, it’s important to give back, and I do that by mentoring young women and educating others on the vast opportunities in this industry.”
Great Dane is proud to celebrate women and continues to encourage and support the employment of women in the trucking industry.