Laura Broglio, who climbed into a truck for the first time at a very young age and never got out again, certainly has an interesting point of view. She tells us about the bright and dark side of a profession that she loves very much and that continues to bring her great satisfaction, even if it is not always easy and it is necessary to find the right balance.
“As a woman who is passionate about her work, but also a mother and wife of a husband who pursues the same profession as me and has his own business, I find myself in a position to observe the industry from various perspectives. On the one hand I see the difficulties of haulage companies in making their mark on the market because they have insignificant margins compared to other companies, and on the other hand the unease of workers who would like better economic terms, but also in terms of quality of life, i.e. more flexibility in schedules, better services along the roads. Many things are changing now; there are women behind the wheel of lorries weighing many tonnes; more than physical strength, more complex qualities and skills are required of the driver, and the figure of the driver has evolved a lot, but there is still much to be done”.
There is no denying that compared to other jobs there are greater difficulties, especially for a woman who does not want to forego her family, but Laura could never give up driving and, after a three-year forced hiatus to be with her child, she returned to the wheel a little over a year ago because “watching the world from two metres high is a unique experience”.
“I think it is important to 'talk about' this profession, bringing out the positive aspects, but also the more edgy ones: talking about it is certainly a first step towards raising awareness in the public and institutions. We need to find ways of adjusting salaries, allowing hauliers to have greater contractual weight within the supply chain, creating career paths and development opportunities that are still all too often lacking, giving women the opportunity not to have to choose between work and motherhood by allowing them to enjoy more flexible working hours and arrangements for the first few years of a child's life. Having said that, being a haulier is great, it brings us into the midst of people every day, it requires specialised training because modern vehicles are very technological, but soft skills are also necessary because the driver is the 'calling card' of a company and must be able to interact with various personalities and roles and have the right flexibility to solve the problems that occur from time to time, from the smallest to the most complex”.
In the public eye, the sector is typically male, although the presence of women is gradually increasing, thanks to on-board technologies that make driving easier and no longer require much physical strength. So what does it mean to be a female driver?
“I have always been well received by my male colleagues, without any prejudice. Once you prove you can do the job, that is what counts and it does not matter whether you are a man or a woman. On the contrary, I think that a greater female presence can be very constructive because we can bring a new and different point of view. We are more inclined by nature to 'see' aspects of work that men do not see and this is important when there is a need to innovate and change things”.
A sector that is certainly evolving and can be an interesting alternative for young people who are looking for a way forward and need to choose a profession. “My advice to young people is to leave no stone unturned, to always be curious to try new ways. There are beautiful worlds waiting to be explored off the most conventional paths”.
To find out more about the thrill of driving a truck and the haulage profession, but also to try the vehicles first hand, the appointment is at Transpotec Logitec from 8 to 11 May 2024 at Fiera Milano.
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