Canadian Women Gear up for Moncton Salute
OTTAWA, Ont. – The fifth Canadian Salute to Women Behind the Wheel will take place on Saturday, June 8, 2019 during the Atlantic Truck Show at the Moncton Coliseum in Moncton, NB. The Salute is organized to honor women who have chosen driving as a career and to recognize them for their service. The Moncton Salute is presented by the Owner-Operator's Business Association of Canada (OBAC), co-hosted by the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA) and Trucking Human Resources Sector Council Atlantic (THRSC Atlantic), in partnership with Women in Trucking (WIT).
The first Salute to Women Behind the Wheel took place in 2009 at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY. Each year since then, Salute events have attracted hundreds of women, including a handful of Canadians. Hosting these events in Canada allows organizers to pay tribute to drivers north of the border.
The first Canadian event took place at Truck World 2016 in Toronto, drawing more than 40 drivers. Additional events took place in Moncton in 2017, as well as Toronto and Abbottsford, BC in 2018.
The first Atlantic Salute brought together a group of 18 drivers from the Atlantic region with more than 300 years of driving experience among them. There were two new drivers in the group with less than two years’ experience, while the driving careers of four other participants spanned 30 years or more.
"While they are few in number, Canada's female drivers are long on experience and dedication to the industry," says Salute organizer, Joanne Ritchie of OBAC. "Women may be a small percentage of the driver population in Canada, but through events like the Salute, we want to celebrate their contribution to trucking and to encourage other women to consider a driving career."
Enthusiasm for the Canadian Salute continues to grow, according to Ritchie. Ironically, the unpredictable nature of the job often makes it difficult for women who are eager to take part to get to the show. “This is where a supportive employer can make a huge difference,” says Ritchie, “by juggling schedules and encouraging participation.” There will be a special award this year for the carrier with the most female drivers in attendance.
This year's Salute will feature two members of WIT's Canadian Image Team, Jo-Anne Phillips of Irishtown, NB and Susie De Ridder of Fredericton, NB, both long-time veterans who have left an indelible mark on this industry.
The Salute gets underway at 11:00 am next to Legends Restaurant, 2nd floor above Hall C at the Moncton Coliseum. The Salute is open to everyone who would like to attend, although only women who hold a commercial driver's license will be featured in the group photo wearing the iconic Salute T-shirt.
Professional drivers can pick up their Salute registration form at the OBAC booth #506 anytime during the show.
Drivers can also pre-register for a free pass to the Atlantic Truck Show using OBAC's VIP code (click on the Atlantic Truck Show banner on OBAC’s home page).