While truck driving has been and continues to be a male-dominated profession, we know that here at northAmerican® we are uniquely privileged to be home to several standout women drivers. In honor of Women’s History Month this March, we are excited to share the stories of the exceptional female drivers who help us continually deliver excellent service to our valued clients. Today, we get to hear from Christine Kizina of Beltmann.
1. What attracted you to the world of driving?
I had just been laid off from a driving job at a pharmaceutical company. At the time I was a single parent with 3 children to support and a grandson on the way. After receiving a couple of small unemployment checks I knew I had to do something quickly to pay the bills.
I saw a commercial on TV for a nearby truck driving school. I loved my previous driving job so I decided to give the school a call. The very next day I visited the school. I was amazed that there were a few female instructors that held a commercial driver’s license there. I filled out an application and waited to hear if I would receive a loan or grant to cover the cost of the training. They called me back the next day and told me I qualified for some assistance and that I could get a loan for the rest of the tuition.
On July 6, 2009, not having any experience or knowledge of the trucking industry I attended my first day of training. Six months later I took my commercial driver’s license exam and passed on the first try. I began my first driving job in January of 2010.
2. What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of my job is being able to see so many beautiful sights from behind my windshield, meeting new people from all over, and most importantly being able to support myself and my family financially.
3. What do you wish more people knew about women truck drivers?
Most truck-driving jobs allow flexibility in your schedule. You could work one week and be off the next. As a female in the trucking industry, you make the same wages as a man with the same experience as you. EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK!
4. Why do you think so few women still operate in this business?
I think a lot of women doubt that they would be able to drive and navigate a semi-truck. Driving a manual does take some skill, but newer trucks have automatic transmissions.
5. Do you have a female hero, if so, who? And in what ways does she inspire you?
My grandmother, Viola is my hero. She taught me to be strong and never give up on my dreams. She was always my biggest cheerleader. I know she’s in heaven telling her friends how her granddaughter drives an 18-wheeler right now.
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