After months of searching and vetting, the FMCSA finally named the first members of its new Women of Trucking Advisory Board. The board, known by its acronym WOTAB, now has 16 board members. All of the new board members are women, including nine current or former commercial motor vehicle drivers.
WOTAB was created as part of the Biden-Harris Trucking Action Plan, or TAP. The White House included this plan as part of its Bipartisan Infrastructure Law as an effort to ease COVID-related supply chain strains. The TAP includes a variety of measures to strengthen protections for truckers and access to trucking jobs, especially in vulnerable communities.
WOTAB is part of a TAP effort to increase the supply of truckers available for work. Earlier this year, many publications reported that there appeared to be a severe shortage of qualified truckers in the country. Women have been historically underrepresented in the trucking industry, making them a clear place to increase the number of truckers.
WOTAB’s mission is to improve access to CDL training and truck driving jobs for women while ensuring their safety in the industry. It will also try to improve those jobs that women truckers already possess.
The women of trucking board includes women from all over, including El Paso.
The 16 board members that the FMCSA announced this week are all women. They include nine women with truck driving experience, as well as women with experience in adjacent industries. The 16 women come from a wide variety of backgrounds and locations. The FMCSA hopes that by creating a diverse board, its decisions and work will reflect the diversity of the trucking workforce.
One of the women named to WOTAB is an El Paso native. Soledad Munoz Smith is the Vice President of Operations at Munoz Trucking Inc., a small, family-owned carrier headquartered near Agua Dulce. Ms. Munoz Smith brings over 10 years of logistics experience to the table on this board. She also brings the perspective of small carriers to a group that will need to consider their needs, too.