In the trucking industry, when the discussion turns to prominent women, the conversation isn’t complete without noting Stephanie Klang. Stephanie is one of the true pioneers in the industry. She began her career as a team driver with her husband in 1980. All told, she’s been driving for 33 years, the last 25 of them with Con-way Truckload, based out of Joplin, Missouri.
As part of this year’s Mid-America Trucking Show she was chosen to participate in a drive along with President and Chief Operating Officer of the American Transportation Research Institute, Rebecca Brewster. Stephanie drove Ms. Brewster on the first leg of the trip from Marietta, Ga., to Nashville, Tenn., providing her the opportunity to experience firsthand the challenges faced by drivers each day.
Stephanie also serves as a Road Captain for The American Trucking Associations’ America’s Road Team and is the third woman in the history of the program to be so honored. The Road Team is a public outreach program led by a small group of professional drivers who share superior driving skills, remarkable safety records and a strong desire to spread the word about safety on the highway. They are tasked with educating the public on the important and vital contribution trucking makes to our nation and to act as ambassadors of the industry.
This year, Stephanie was one of four finalists nominated for the Influential Woman in Trucking Award, given each year by the Women in Trucking Association. The award highlights the achievements of female role models and pioneers in the industry, recognizes their contributions and helps promote ongoing diversity. Among the four finalists, Stephanie was the only driver.
At every opportunity, Stephanie encourages women to consider a career in truck driving. She is quick to note that there are many misperceptions related to the job and urges women to embrace the adventure and find out for themselves how rewarding and satisfying a calling it can be.