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TWAL Living the Dream keynote speakers gear up for conference

Transport Women Australia Limited’s (TWAL) 2024 Living the Dream Conference will kick off tomorrow in Essendon Fields, Victoria.

Headlining the program as keynote speakers are Americold Logistics Director of Operations, Cindy Parker, and Women in Trucking Association (WIT) founder, Ellen Voie, both from the United States.

Parker started her journey in temperature-controlled warehousing in 1994 as a shipping/receiving clerk at Zero Mountain in Russellville, Arkansas, while earning her bachelor’s degree in Economics/Finance and Marketing at Arkansas Tech University.

After graduating she stayed on at Zero Mountain and became the business’ first female General Manager in 2012.

The promotion, she told Trailer, was very rewarding.

“It meant that management believed I could do the job,” she said.

“I had proved myself that it didn’t matter if I was male or female. I could do the job and they had confidence in me.”

When Zero Mountain was acquired by Americold Logistics in 2019, Parker seamlessly transitioned to Americold.

Following that, her expertise in cold chain logistics and operations led to her promotion to Director of Operations in 2023.

As part of her work, Parker is committed to increasing diversity and female representation in transport.

“I always tell the other females at Americold that they can do anything, and that they can always achieve their goals,” she said.

“I also try to get out into the community. I went and talked to some eighth graders the other day about the supply chain industry and what they could do within it.

“I just want to get the word out there that this is a wonderful industry to be in.”

At the TWAL Living the Dream Conference, Parker will share her story and why she believes she is ‘living the dream’ herself.

“The job is so rewarding because you can do whatever you want if you take the challenges and opportunities,” she said.

“You can travel around the world to talk about it and you can meet wonderful people. You can make it out to be whatever you want.”

Voie was introduced to the transport industry when she began working for a steel fabricating plant after obtaining a diploma in Traffic and Transportation Management at LaSalle Extension University in Chicago, Illinois, in 1980.

She later founded WIT in 2007 to promote the employment of women and remove obstacles that might stop them from succeeding in transport industries.

Since then Voie has become an internationally recognised speaker and advocate for gender diversity and the inclusion of women in non-traditional careers in transport.

“It’s about getting the word out that women are wanted and welcomed, and that they can do the job,” she told Trailer.

“We do things like our Member of the Month program where we share their stories, and we have had a lot of recognition programs in the past year as well.”

In her presentation at the TWAL Living the Dream Conference on Saturday afternoon, Voie will share her story to attendees.

“Normally I talk about unconscious bias and the reasons why women don’t come into the industry or why they leave, but this conference is called Living the Dream,” she said.

“Jacquelene Brotherton wanted me to talk about my journey, from starting Women in Trucking and bringing it up to a group of 8,000 members in 10 countries comprised of mostly women but some men as well.

“It’s grown beyond my wildest dreams and that’s what I’m going to be talking about.”

Both Parker and Voie said they are looking forward to networking and meeting new people at the conference as well.

The post TWAL Living the Dream keynote speakers gear up for conference appeared first on Trailer Magazine.

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