Boy’s Club No More? Only If We Step Up

Lexi Tucker
Posted on December 11, 2019
This is just a small sample of women who are a part of this industry. Imagine what we could accomplish if only a handful ran for positions of leadership... (Photo: LCT)

This is just a small sample of women who are a part of this industry. Imagine what we could accomplish if only a handful ran for positions of leadership... (Photo: LCT)

The recent results of the 2020 NLA Board Election didn’t shock me. What did was the complete and total lack of female representation. But this isn’t the NLA’s fault. Our own Global Ground Transportation Institute (GGTI) only has four women on a board of 15 people. It’s a problem in many other industries and professions as well. According to the Center for American Progress, although they hold almost 52% of all management- and professional-level jobs, American women lag substantially behind men in terms of their representation in leadership positions.

I bring this up because it was recently discussed in the LCT Women of the Industry Facebook group and so many good, valid, and interesting points were made in regards to the recent election. Make no mistake, this wasn’t “the man” trying to keep a woman down…to my knowledge, no women even ran.

As Christina Zanone, director of affiliate relations for Beau Wine Tours in Napa, Calif., adeptly put it, “I mean, you have to run if you want to have the chance. Often, many of these seats go unopposed, for the NLA and many of the regional associations.”

Tracy L. Salinger, president and CEO of Unique Limousine in Harrisburg, Pa., chimed in with, “I have no problems with any of these fine men. But if we want to be represented, we need to stand up.” Which brings up another point: It’s not just the NLA, but many local state associations that have this issue as well.

Paula DeBiasi, executive director of the Illinois Limousine & Bus Association (ILLBA) and owner-operator of Chicago CoachWorks, stated, “I’m happy to say ILLBA is 50/50 for officers, and WLA, too!” Unfortunately, that’s not the case for many other industry associations.

As much as I love the GCLA and praise them for all they’ve accomplished this year, their board results were just announced at their annual Christmas party and — surprise, surprise! — not a single woman ran.

So let’s try to get to the root of the issue here. Some have stated their main reason for not running is time and money. It’s true you need both to make such a big commitment. Women already wear so many hats: Businesswoman, mother, daughter, sister, wife, friend, caregiver…the list goes on.

Nancy Vargas, CEO of DH2 Chauffeured Transportation in Whitestone, N.Y., offered up her solution. “I am of the belief that we as women must empower and motivate each other. I believe getting involved starts by participating, engaging, and giving small steps. As you dive in, you’ll know when you might be ready to step up to NLA status. There are many amazing women of the industry...we will get there!” Maybe you’re not ready to be a board member; that’s fine. But do what you can to encourage those who are.

In turn, industry associations should be working to make their meetings a place that’s comfortable for all genders, religions, sexual orientations, and nationalities. In other words: INCLUSIVE.  

Of course, this is all easy for me to say. I don’t own a business or have a husband and children or a household to run. However, I’m doing everything in my power with the tools at my disposal to raise awareness and get the names, faces, and companies of the amazing women in this industry online and in print. The rest is up to you.

Related Topics: blog, Global Ground Transportation Institute, industry leaders, LCT blog, leadership, National Limousine Association, NLA, NLA board of directors, women in the industry

Lexi Tucker Senior Editor
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