As the new year continues to roll by, we welcome March and the wonderful celebrations that come with it – including Women’s History Month. Throughout its history, women have impacted the logistics industry and are gaining more extensive representation in the traditionally male-dominated space every year. 

While we always aim to celebrate women in trucking, now is the perfect time to shine a light on the powerful women who have been and continue to be leaders in the logistics world. Though women are still a minority in this field, they’ve made their mark on the industry throughout the years and continue to impact it every day. From truck drivers to supply chain management executives, women succeed in a variety of roles across the supply chain and help advance the industry forward. 

An Uphill Battle in the Transportation Industry 

Transportation and logistics have been around since the late 19th century but gained steam with women towards the end of World War I. In the early 1900s, only 20% of women worked outside the home, and only 5% of those were married. The logistics industry was not the place most women looked for work. In fact, much of where and when women worked, in general, was regulated at this time. 

As the war continued, women began to shift their career fields due to necessity and a need to fill these roles. As men left to fight overseas, women increasingly took on industrial jobs, including warehouse work. World War I gave many women an opportunity to prove their capabilities in roles they were previously considered unsuitable. 

Today, the advancements of women in the trucking and transportation industry are more apparent but still not equal – especially in leadership roles. One of our favorite leaders in trucking also happens to be one of our favorite women: Ruth Williams. 

Meet Ruth Williams

A Widow. A Single Mother. An Elementary School Teacher in Weaver, Alabama.

Those three descriptions aren’t what you usually find as the qualifications for the President of a Trucking Company, but they are the very strengths that Mrs. Ruth Williams had in operating BR Williams.

In July of 1958, Billy R. Williams established the trucking company known today as BR Williams. He experienced all the issues and growing pains of owning a new business, but after only five years of operation, a trucking terminal fire took his life. 

Ruth was advised to walk away from the business because of all the damage that the fire caused. She knew there would be many obstacles to face as a female in the trucking business, but in 1965, she retired from teaching and became the owner and President of BR Williams.

In July of 2021, BR Williams celebrated our 63rd year of business, and we forever respect the strength of Mrs. Ruth Williams and the sacrifices she made to continue her husband’s business. 

We will never know just how hard the days were for Ruth as a female trucking owner in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, but we will always honor her legacy because she didn’t take the easy roadshe made her own.

Ruth Williams - BR Williams Trucking - Women in Trucking

Supporting Women in Trucking

Fortunately, organizations like BR Williams are actively pursuing the goal of inviting more women into logistics and supporting these women to help them achieve their professional goals. 

We encourage women – both young and tenured in their careers – to join the trucking industry and pursue a fulfilling career in logistics. BR Williams was proudly named one of 2021’s Top Companies for Women to Work For in Transportation, and it’s because of the effort and attention we give to creating a welcoming environment for women. 

Recognizing Women This Month and Always

While Women’s History Month is a great time to reflect on the journey women have faced getting here today, it’s also essential that we consider the road ahead for them, too. In the logistics industry, it’s time to consider how women can continue to advance this field and how logistics companies can benefit from greater gender equality. There’s no doubt that women have come a long way in logistics, but there’s still a long way to go. 

We are thankful for the women in this industry who fearlessly lead and represent an entire group. As women continue to grow in logistics and positively influence this field, we commend them for paving the way for future generations. 

BR Williams is proud to advocate for women in the trucking industry. We aim to honor the past and support the future this month and always. To learn more about our history, you can read here

About BR Williams Trucking & Logistics

BR Williams,  a  family-owned Trucking, Warehousing, Fulfillment & Logistics Company has been serving customers since 1958. We specialize in removing the supply chain frustrations our customers have by developing custom-made solutions. We offer nationwide transportation services through our fleet and logistics division. Our multiple fulfillment and distribution warehouses in Alabama including the Port of Mobile span over 1.7 million square feet. Our core values are Honesty,  Integrity, Service. We still serve our first customer that was established in 1958.

To discuss your supply chain needs, please contact us online or call (800) 523-7963

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