Trailer Magazine

Industry leader: True Ross

  • Posted on Tuesday 7th, January 2020.

Trailer Magazine met with Ross Transport Manager, True Ross, to learn more about her journey in the commercial road transport industry.

Q: What first drew you to the commercial road transport industry?
A: My grandmother, Frances Ross, and father, Alan Ross, have run Ross Transport since 1975. I grew up in and around the transport industry, spending school holidays and many Saturdays at the workplace with Dad. When I finished school, I started working for the business part time and one thing led to another and I spend half of my life here.

Q: What does a standard day look like?
A: I am one of the managers here at Ross Transport as well as the director for my own transport company. I do the compliance and work health and safety for the companies as well as overseeing all roles at Ross Transport. My job is very chaotic and am the go-to person but that’s exactly how I like it. I do anything that passes my desk. Each day is filled with meetings as well as keeping the business in check and ensuring everything is being completed the way it should be.

Q: What has been a highlight of your career so far?
A: In 2016 I started my own business which is separate to Ross Transport. I still work heavily for Ross Transport and for my family, but also run my own transport business on the side. In May 2019, I was appointed a Board of Director with Transport Women Australia Limited, which I feel is absolutely incredible; it is my first real opening to start making a difference for women in our industry.

Q: What is the best thing about the transport industry?
A: Definitely the community. There is no other community like ours, especially where I live in the Illawarra. The transport industry is such a challenge but overall, I couldn’t think of a different industry that I would want to be in. I like the challenge and I hate life being dull, which in transport it never is.

Q: What do female-driven events in commercial road transport mean to you?
A: Female representation in the industry is so critical. It is so important that both genders are appreciated and recognised for the work that they do. Female-driven events are so important to recognise how far women in transport and women in general have come, but also to recognise that there is still an array of issues that women are still facing in the workplace and climbing the career ladder such as the gender pay gap, pregnancy discrimination and ego clashes.

Both genders have a lot to offer and show different perspectives. We need to have female driven events to empower and encourage our current, future and aspiring women leaders from all roles across road transport. Having these events can assist women in ways to overcome obstacles in their career progression, juggle personal and professional responsibilities and build better relationships. These events are also equally as important for men to attend so they have a better understanding of the challenges women are still facing and how they can help in assisting women overcome these obstacles.

Q: How can people and companies in the transport industry better promote it as a career choice for women?
A: I think it is important for people and companies to openly address transport as a career choice for women. In their advertising, make it more appealing for women whether it be through flexible work hours, removing the gender pay gap, or permanent employment or even just making note in their advertisement ‘we encourage women to apply for this advertised role’. If the company can afford it, advertise to upgrade licences and conduct a training program for women, so they have the opportunity to enter the industry. The transport industry can be very hard and costly to get involved in, if there are more accessible ways to enter, it will make the industry more attractive.

Rest areas also need to be seriously looked at; their locality, their facilities and their conditions. However, that’s a topic for another day!

Q: Do you have any other comments to share?
A: I just want to express that both women and men have skills and perspectives to bring to the table. We do need to keep continuing to support women’s contribution and continue to encourage women into transport whether it be as a driver, a logistics manager, health & safety roles or an administration role.

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