Content Sponsored by Simon Transport
A family-owned and operated Utah trucking company is highlighting the contributions of female drivers, company leaders, and support staff to their success and growth during decades of operation in the industry.
CDLLife recently had the opportunity to connect with three of the women at Simon Transport to learn more about why they entered the trucking industry — and why they’ve stayed.
Co-Owner Helen Simon Strives For Driver-Friendly Company Culture
Since Salt Lake City-based Simon Transport was founded in 2004, co-owner Helen Simon has helped to establish something that you don’t always see in the trucking industry — a female friendly workplace. Along with husband and co-owner Lyn Simon, Helen leads by example in making Simon Transport a career destination for women in trucking. She assists with marketing, finance, and Human Resources for the company and has been instrumental in driving the company’s growth and success.
One of Simon’s major areas of focus is on providing drivers with a space where they feel comfortable and invited. Simon told CDLLife that she’s worked hard to make sure that the company’s culture and core values recognize the invaluable contributions that drivers make to the success of Simon Transport. The company has an open-door policy that fosters communication between company leaders and drivers (there was actually a driver in Simon’s office when we called her for this interview!). She said she strives to make sure that drivers feel included whenever possible when they’re in the office and looks for ways to make them feel part of the family.
“Little things make a big difference,” Simon said, pointing out that not only does the company provide drivers with new trucks every three years, but they also are thoughtful enough to give drivers 10-inch foam mattresses in those trucks to give them a better night’s sleep.
Simon said that she believes that while it is still challenging for women to make their way in the male-dominated trucking industry, she can see that things are slowly changing. She noted that the trucking industry is “constantly evolving,” which makes for a challenging but exciting day-to-day for women workers in trucking.
A Long Family History in Trucking Drew Lonnie Desmarais to Simon Transport
Lonnie Desmarais serves as the company Finance Manager and said that she’s been with Simon Transport for nine years.
Desmarais said, “I accepted an accounting position here but was excited to work for Simon because my family has a very long history in trucking. My dad drove OTR for my entire life. When my mom retired from being an accountant she got her CDL and drove team with my dad for many years until they decided it was time to officially retire. My sister owns a small trucking company in Idaho and my brother owns a diesel repair shop in Ogden, so my family all has ties to the trucking industry,” she said.
When we asked Desmarais what advice she has for other women who are considering careers in trucking, she said, “I would tell them to go for it. Learn as much as you can. There are so many moving parts in this industry and there is always something to learn. There are definitely lots of advancement opportunities.”
Operations Manager Andrea Allen Encourages Women To Be Confident As They Enter the Industry
Operations manager Andrea Allen said she was also inspired to get into a trucking career due to the fact that she came from a trucking family, with her father driving trucks. She’s been in the trucking industry for more than 25 years and has spent the last six years with Simon Transport.
Allen said that working for a female-led company has made life better for Simon Transport’s drivers as there is more focus on the driver as a person — on their need for home time with their families and the challenges they may be facing in their personal lives. She said that having a female perspective at the head of the company has led to an increased focus on including the drivers as part of the office family and on appreciating the sacrifices that drivers make to keep the company and country running.
Allen said that women who want to pursue a career in trucking should come into the industry with a strong sense of self and a healthy amount of confidence. “It’s easy to be intimidated in a male dominated industry,” she said. “But you have to be confident, and be willing to learn.”
Simon Transport’s contribution to the advancement of women in the workplace has not gone unnoticed. The company has been certified by the Small Business Administration as a Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and more than half of office employees are female. The company is also proud to have several women as members of their truck driving team.
Simon Transport provides refrigerated and flatbed transportation services to the midwest and western United States. If you’re interested in joining the Simon Transport team as a valued member of the driving team, please click here to get started!
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