Empowering Women in the Trailer Industry
In an industry predominately filled with men, two women have risen through the ranks to prove themselves at their respective trailer businesses. Theresa Kent, Co-Owner of Brake Away Trailers & Auto Care LLC, and Jan Ford, Marketing Manager and Parts Specialist at Wheel-A-Way Trailer Sales, decided to shed some light on their views of the industry and how slight changes can lead to positive changes for the industry’s overall growth.
How did you start working in the trailer industry?
Ford: The Wheeler family that owns Wheel-A-Way Trailer Sales also races stock cars locally. I was lettering one of their modified race cars and they asked me if I’d be interested in a part-time job at their trailer shop. I didn’t know anything about trailers, but they told me they’d teach me.
Kent: I owned many trailers when I owned a business focusing on property preservation of foreclosed homes. At some point, I needed to purchase a dump trailer. I called Big Tex, talked to the Dealer Manager and ended up owning a franchise.
Do you notice a lack of women in the trailer industry? If so, why do you think that to be the case? What can dealerships do to encourage more women to work in the industry?
Ford: Many of the people I deal with are women. Women are inherently attentive, compassionate problem solvers, which are valuable qualities for employees. More often, women are exercising their towing independence, whether it’s a travel trailer, watercraft trailer or a utility trailer for their personal business.
Kent: Not many women have entered the trailer industry. It’s still predominately employed by men, but more women are entering as more training becomes available.
What advice would you give to women considering a career in the trailer industry? What do you wish you had known?
Ford: Get over the idea that it’s a “man’s” job. It’s a challenging, rewarding career that, at the end of the day, leaves you feeling empowered.
Kent: Learn as much as you can and attend as much training as possible.
What can be done, from an industry perspective, to affect positive change for female representation in the trailer industry moving forward?
Ford: Don’t focus on gender. Promote personal growth and teamwork.
Kent: Dealerships need to offer more industry and brand training. Look within your organization for women who could excel.
To nominate a female in the industry for a future issue of NATDA Magazine, please contact Corey Langley at firstname.lastname@example.org.