International Women's Day 2024

At Arrow, we recruit, retain and nurture diverse talent. From truck drivers and supervisors to administrators and everything in-between, women play an important role in the transportation industry. 

This International Women’s Day, Arrow hopes to help #InspireInclusion by sharing stories from a few of these women. 

Willow H. – Company Driver

After coming to terms with the fact that the film industry would never give her the amount of financial stability she needed, Willow left behind 7+ years of working in the arts and took on a new challenge.

Thriving on challenging herself, Willow quickly took action when the YWCA and WorkBC offered an introduction to becoming a Class 1 Driver.

From the very beginning, Willow said, “I was looking at Arrow as the place I’d like to land. Early on I was calling and talking to whoever would answer my questions. Four months later I got into a truck to see what an eight axle driver does.”

She continued, “I have been on the receiving end of so much generosity by the people I’ve worked with at Arrow: given knowledge, training, and shown patience and kindness while I fumbled through learning. To this day, I am still surprised at the array of different skills this job requires…fundamentally it is a balance of mastering technical driving in all settings, staying calm enough to think things through when invariably they go wrong, and pushing past where I thought my mental and physical limits were.”

"There is always a way in.  Listen to the people who have the knowledge you need, and be trainable."

Willow said she has been humbled by the mistakes she’s made while learning to do the job and has struggled physically to do what most other drivers manage without a second thought.

Having seen new drivers come and go, Willow says it’s clear that this type of work isn’t for everyone. When speaking to the other women who came through the same program that she did, Willow always encourages them to push. “Push yourselves beyond where you’re comfortable, push into where you want to be and keep pushing even when you get a no.” 

Laura D. – Operations Supervisor

Laura’s journey in the transportation industry began 8 years ago when she began working as a dispatcher. With a background in accounting, Laura was surprised when her then temporary position quickly spanned 5 years. Discovering that the transportation industry had a great vibe, Laura took a position with Arrow.

Today, Laura has progressed from Transportation Coordinator to Operations Supervisor which has her training the team, overseeing dispatch and now, working on getting her Business Degree. She says her current position has been incredible in helping her achieve both personal and professional goals.

When asked about the biggest challenges in her role, Laura says “In my past transportation jobs, finding the right balance between work and life, especially with my kids, was tough. But with this job and its culture, I’ve found that balance. I’ve been able to enjoy quality time with my family in ways I couldn’t have imagined elsewhere.”

"Confidence is key. Believing in yourself and your abilities goes a long way. Knowing you've got what it takes, and not letting anyone tell you otherwise. And hey, if you need a boost, don't hesitate to lean on your allies and mentors."

As one of the 11% of women who are a part of the Arrow team, Laura says that “Entering a male-dominated field can be daunting, but with the right mindset and strategies, it can also be incredibly rewarding! It’s a journey worth taking. Confidence is key. Believing in yourself and your abilities goes a long way. Knowing you’ve got what it takes, and not letting anyone tell you otherwise. And hey, if you need a boost, don’t hesitate to lean on your allies and mentors. Having a support system can make all the difference. Stereotypes and biases, yeah, they’re out there, but you have the power to challenge them. Educate others, advocate for diversity and inclusion, and show them what you’re made of.”

She continued, “Work-life balance. It’s not just a buzzword—it’s essential. Take care of yourself, set boundaries, and remember that it’s okay to say no sometimes. Your well-being matters just as much as your career.” For other women looking to join the transportation industry or any other male dominated career path, Laura says “By embracing your strengths, seizing opportunities, and advocating for inclusivity, you’re not just breaking barriers—you’re paving the way for a more diverse and equitable future. Keep shining bright, and happy International Women’s Day!”

11%

of Arrow’s workforce are female

2.9%

of these women are truck drivers

13%

of hires in 2023 are female

Taylor B. – Operations Supervisor

International Women's Day 2024, #inspireinclusion, Taylor B, Indianapolis, reloadAfter leaving the Army and several very difficult years, Taylor found herself in the transportation industry as an Administrator for Arrow at the Indianapolis Reload yard. While this industry hadn’t been a goal, Taylor says she is exactly where she needs to be and has found inspiration in being part of something much larger. “My job, although important, is very small when looking at the big picture of our operation. Our work is just the starting point of processes that go on to be critical aspects of someone else’s daily life. And for me that alone gives me the inspiration to do my very best each day.” 

Now the Operations Supervisor at the Indianapolis yard, Taylor says that Arrow took a chance on her and has helped give her the tools to turn her leadership skills into a career she loves.

As a woman in a management position in an industry dominated by men, Taylor said her own self doubt has been a big challenge. “Although we had a great crew at the time, it was still a struggle to be viewed as an equal and gain the respect of my guys. It was such a defeating feeling, and I began to second guess my decisions. I wanted to earn the confidence/trust of the crew and not allow it to be an expectation.” She continued, “So, every day I showed up and showed them that I was able to work alongside them and that I would not ask for them to do anything I wouldn’t do myself. I learned to use my differences to my advantage and instead of allowing them to define me.” 

"Believe in your abilities, speak up when you know you have a good idea, be brave and do not allow the fear of fall short stop you from doing something you love."

Taylor’s advice to other women thinking about or already working in an industry like this is to embrace your differences and know that you have strengths that are worth standing up for. “Believe in your abilities, speak up when you know you have a good idea, be brave and do not allow the fear of fall short stop you from doing something you love. You are good enough and your opinion does matter, so go for it and don’t give up until you are where you deserve to be.”

Sherry  H. – Trucking Manager

Fast paced and diverse, Sherry found that the transportation industry was a great fit after spending most of her professional career as a commissioned officer in the military. The standards, regulations and legislations of the industry felt familiar and provided Sherry with the structure she required. “In the transportation industry I believe that standards are what most companies try to obtain but fall short.” She continued, “Arrow understands that this industry needs to be better. We are better, we lead the industry with pride, accountability and going the extra mile. Training, maintenance and service is priority and our drivers that lead the pack are held to higher standards to be the ones that stand and lead by example. Our safety rating proves that we are better than the rest!”

The Edmonton division hauls anything and everything which equals 2.5 trailers per driver. Sherry recalls how the first few months in her career with Arrow were a challenge due to the sheer amount of information, learning how to utilize each driver to the fullest and working with so many different customers. She says that “I have an amazing team that helped me through the mud and helped me succeed. Thank you to each and every one of you!”

"Do your homework, network, mentorship, learn all you can, get experience, rise above, and own the position you are in."

Sherry says that she has never been looked down on at Arrow and that she is both included and valued. “As a woman in a male dominated field you don’t get to many second chances to prove your worth. You need to keep your head up; work hard and prove you know what you are doing. If you ever use the words “I don’t know” you will sink. Try these words, “I have the answer, but I need to double check, I’ll get right back to you”.  Play your strengths and know that there is always room for improvements. Do your homework, network, mentorship, learn all you can, get experience, rise above, and own the position you are in. Confidence is everything. It’s not easy but once you prove yourself, you fit right in.” Sherry also notes that while she had to win over each driver, after countless hours in the yard helping tie down loads and tarping, she is now the go-to person for all trucking issues.

Thank you to all the women who make up the Arrow team. Together, we’re driving towards a more inclusive future for all.

To learn more about International Women’s Day, visit internationalwomensday.com