Mercer’s Women with a Mission: “MercHER”
Mercer Transportation is proud to announce the successful formation of “MercHER”, pronounced with the emphasis on “HER.” Spearheaded by two women at Mercer headquarters in Louisville, KY, MercHER will promote gender diversity and networking across the company and its fleet of independent contractors, specifically supporting the females within Mercer and the transportation industry. The members of MercHER will also give their company a more active role in the industry-wide programs of Women in Trucking (WIT). Both MercHER and WIT are open to everyone, not only female employees.
The MercHER group is co-chaired by Asst. Brokerage Operations Manager Amanda Brown and Contractor Relations Advocate Amanda Harper, two women who saw the need for more networking opportunities among Mercer colleagues. Amanda Brown explains the group’s mission statement is as follows, “MercHER exists to create community within Mercer Transportation, to cultivate connections. This group is designed to develop and strengthen women’s careers in the transportation industry.”
The four primary goals of MercHER are networking, community engagement, awareness, and mentoring:
- To provide a sense of connection, creating opportunities for employees and other members of the Mercer system to mingle and interact.
- To increase employee engagement with extracurricular activities, supporting and empowering girls and women by volunteering in the community.
- To raise Mercer employee awareness about our company’s involvement with Women in Trucking, taking advantage of their resources and programs.
- To connect new employees with same-gender mentors who can share their own experiences and insight for building a career at Mercer.
The idea for MercHER came from Brown, who was already spearheading Mercer’s involvement with “Women In Trucking”, while attending the Walcott truck show this summer and discussing the challenges that women face in the predominantly male trucking industry. The Mercer Transportation system includes quite a few women in professional roles, from the office staff at headquarters to female owner operators and independent agents, and yet those women may rarely interact face to face. Even the women working in different departments and different buildings at headquarters would benefit from networking, mentoring, and mutual encouragement. As Brown explained, “We wanted to establish a group for Mercer employees but also for our truck drivers and ladies that are out on the road…to feel like we support them.”
The MercHER team also has a role to play in the broader community. The initial meetings have been tied in with local female-owned businesses (a bakery and a restaurant), and the group is planning to volunteer in the future with Habitat for Humanity during their women’s build, and a local addiction recovery center called The Healing Place. Based in Louisville, The Healing Place has a successful detox and rehabilitation program with separate facilities for men and women. The MercHer team is also excited about getting more involved with the Girl Scouts’ program called, “Trucks are for Girls” where Girl Scouts in Louisville and the surrounding areas can earn a special trucking-themed Girl Scout patch.
Mercer has been a member of Women in Trucking since 2019 but the formation of MercHER should create new opportunities for collaboration, with Brown attending the upcoming WIT conference in Dallas. According to WomenInTrucking.org, 17 percent of their organization’s members are men. As for MercHER, Marketing and Media Manager Brian Helton and Marketing & Media Coordinator David Bennett are just two of the men who have already joined. Although the women at headquarters are particularly excited about sharing their experiences and networking, everyone has a role to play in gender inclusion. When everyone is supported in achieving their professional goals, the whole Mercer team, and the entire Transportation industry, can succeed together.
For more information on MercHER and programs or support for women at Mercer and in the trucking industry, request to join our Facebook page, “MercHER Strong”.