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People of Yellow
The Yellow Team | Nov. 11, 2022
At Yellow, we have a proud history of empowering the women on our team and helping them to develop long, rewarding careers in the trucking industry.
As the Women In Trucking Association (WIT) launches its Nov. 13-16 Accelerate! Conference & Expo in Dallas, we’re grateful that WIT has recognized Yellow’s commitment to recruiting and supporting women employees over the years, which has included the following honors:
• Named a “Top Company for Women to Work for in Transportation” for five consecutive years.
• Thirty Yellow professionals named among WIT’s “Top Women to Watch” since 2019.
• Yellow Professional Driver Peggy Arnold named the third-ever recipient of WIT’s “Driver of the Year” award for 2022.
More work remains to help make trucking a more appealing, welcoming industry for women professionals. But there has been progress.
Below are six of the many women who are building outstanding careers at Yellow and who are strong advocates for women in the industry. Here are their stories and perspectives on how trucking can become a viable career path for more women, whether it’s on the road, in the freight terminal or in the boardroom.
WIT’s “Driver of the Year” and Top Women to Watch, 2022
When she was named WIT’s “Driver of the Year” during a ceremony at the Mid-America Trucking Show in March, Peggy Arnold was grateful she got to share that experience with her 15-year-old granddaughter. Without knowing if she had won the annual award, Arnold took her granddaughter to the Louisville conference to show her what women can achieve.
“I wanted her to meet all these awesome women in all different kinds of roles in life, and I wanted her to see that you, as a young woman, can do anything in the world that you want to do,” Arnold said.
The honor recognized a professional driving career that has spanned more than 30 years and close to two million accident-free miles. Arnold, who operates out of Yellow’s Nashville terminal, has remained thankful and gracious through it all. She credits trucking with moving her into the middle class and helping to support her children and other family members. In addition to her driving duties, she also helps to train the next generation of truck drivers as a safety trainer at the Nashville terminal.
Arnold said that driver positions at companies like Yellow represent an opportunity for women that provides good pay, excellent benefits and the chance to build a long-term career.
“I tell them all the time that the door is wide open right now. Come on in,” she said. “You’re going to be met with someone welcoming like me or someone else at another terminal like me who’s going to walk you through every step of the way.”
WIT Top Women to Watch, 2021
From an early age, Maria Grasty knew her way around heavy equipment. When she was a little girl, her family owned and operated a banana factory in Santiago, Chile, and her father taught her how to drive a forklift.
“I have never been afraid of the equipment and the trucks,” Grasty said. “It’s in me.”
Her family eventually settled in the United States. As a 19-year-old attending college, Grasty took a part-time job as a dock worker to earn extra cash and found she enjoyed the work. She returned to the industry in her mid-20s, joining Yellow in 2012 as a dock supervisor at the Maybrook, N.Y. terminal.
From there, she rose to terminal manager and is now a “cluster” terminal manager, overseeing both the Brooklyn and Maspeth, N.Y. terminals. Grasty enjoys the hustle of terminal operations, but breaking into the industry as a woman wasn’t easy at first. At Yellow, she says she has been fortunate to have mentors as well as resources like the Women’s Inclusion Network employee resource group to help support her career. In her spare time, Grasty works toward getting her CDL to better serve the drivers who operate out of her terminals.
For women considering the trucking industry for a career, Grasty said, “There are plenty of opportunities, and it’s not just about truck driving. There are so many components to the industry, so don’t limit yourself.”
WIT Top Women to Watch, 2020
Sarah Statlander is on her second stint at Yellow. From 2007 to 2010, she was a division manager of human resources. In 2015, she returned to help lead a restructuring of Yellow’s HR organization, first on a director level and, currently, as vice president of human capital and talent acquisition.
What drew her back to Yellow? Statlander said she likes the fast pace and the fact that “no two days are the same” in trucking. She was also intrigued by the fact that Yellow was starting to ramp up hiring, employee training and performance management. Statlander wanted to help shape that transformation, which continues today as Yellow aligns its four trucking brands into a single, super-regional LTL carrier.
“It was the right timing from a personal perspective,” she said. “Here at Yellow, there’s always some new challenge to address and that’s really what energizes me about work, quite honestly.”
One of the challenges Statlander has taken on is working to make the trucking industry a more appealing career choice for women. Along with Yellow's Tamara Jalving, she serves on the advisory board for the American Trucking Associations' Women in Motion initiative. Statlander helps lead the Women’s Inclusion Network, an internal employee resource group at Yellow. To draw more women into trucking, she said, industry leaders need to “debunk some myths” about it as a men-only domain.
To Statlander, that involves some storytelling about the many women who have risen in trucking – on the road, in the terminals and in the corporate office.
“To me, it’s about education, being more proactive with women, and talking to them about their career interests and how they might fit into this industry,” she said. “The fact is, trucking is a really great place where you can grow a career as a woman.”
WIT Top Women to Watch, 2021
Patrice Brown has enjoyed a lengthy career in employment law and human resources for companies like Yellow and Kansas City Southern.
But she saw a need to do something more. In 2021, Brown studied Advanced Diversity and Inclusion at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Later that year, she became Yellow’s first VP of diversity, equity & inclusion, recently shifting into that role on a full-time basis.
“This is about bringing people with diverse thoughts and ideas together – it’s not just about gender and skin color,” said Brown, who previously was assistant general counsel at Yellow. “This is as important as safety at our company. Physical safety is important, but psychological safety is just as important. That’s where diversity comes in.”
Brown said that Yellow’s current transformation into a super-regional LTL carrier, with four trucking brands merging into one, is the perfect time to roll out a new approach to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB). Studies have shown that companies with a strong policy and commitment to diversity and inclusion – from hiring to employee retention – are 35% more profitable, on average, than companies without those programs.
Regardless of its impact on financial performance, DEIB is simply the right thing for employers to do—and something that has become an expectation among today’s workers.
“People want to be valued and have a seat at the table," Brown said. "And how do you do that? This is how you do it. This is the way to make sure everyone feels like they have a voice and are valued.”
WIT Top Women to Watch, 2019
Tamara Jalving was global human resources director for a tier 1 auto supplier when a friend suggested she might shift to a career in trucking, telling her that “the pace and work is ideally suited for you.” She accepted a role as director of talent acquisition at Holland, a Yellow company, in 2017.
Since that time, Jalving has transitioned to senior vice president for Holland and, currently, vice president of safety and talent acquisition for union hiring at Yellow. Taking on leadership of safety has allowed her to work with a team that is dedicated to the highest standards of safety practices.
“I love the work I do and the teams I am privileged to lead,” Jalving said. “I continue to learn every day from this industry and from the people who are equally honored to work within it."
“Given the pace and demand for both safety and front-line hiring, I am often asked, ‘What keeps you at Yellow?’” she added. “At the end of the day, I want to know fewer people got hurt, that our team members had an opportunity for professional development and that more people were provided an opportunity to have a rewarding career in trucking. I know my team is making that happen.”
During her time in trucking, Jalving has seen more women enter the industry, but not at a rapid pace, particularly in terms of drivers and front-line leaders. She’s doing her part to make trucking a more appealing industry for skilled women, both in her role at Yellow and as a member of the advisory board for Women in Motion, a new initiative by the American Trucking Associations. Under Jalving’s leadership, Yellow has also launched its nationwide, tuition-free CDL Driving Academies, which are seeing a growing enrollment of women drivers.
“The way I see it is two-fold: women have to picture themselves in trucking and the industry has to be more intentional tapping into the female work force. Looking for talent with demonstrated competencies rather than prior trucking experience provides companies with a much larger and more diverse talent pool,” Jalving said. “Leaders have a responsibility to do whatever it takes to tap into this huge pool of talent that many only view trucking as a place for men to succeed.”
WIT Top Women to Watch, 2022
During her 13-plus years in sales and business development, Georgy Barlow has remained at Yellow for two key reasons: her belief in the company’s mission and the chances for advancement that have kept her career moving forward.
“What has kept me has been a clear path of leadership opportunities within the company,” Barlow said. “At each of my roles, I’ve had excellent leaders who have all made me feel valued and appreciated.”
Barlow’s career in transportation started in 1996, after earning her B.A. in International Business. Over the years, she has seen the industry evolve from one in which men held almost all the leadership roles to today’s environment where women have more opportunities to advance.
“We’ve improved. Look at us now. We have moved mountains in terms of diversity,” Barlow said. “I didn’t know a lot of Hispanic women in Sales 16 years ago, but we’ve done a really good job of improving that focus and expanding.”
Barlow, who will be part of the “Women to Watch” panel session at WIT’s 2022 Accelerate! Conference, knows there is much work to be done to draw more women into trucking. She believes that the enhanced focus on transportation and supply chain issues brought about during the COVID pandemic is keeping the industry top-of-mind with possible job candidates of various backgrounds.
“I want to challenge everyone to talk to people and to be excited about our industry,” she said. “What we do is important, and a lot of people don’t understand the scope of all the opportunities we have in transportation.”
These stories are just six examples of the many women at Yellow who have thriving careers across various levels of our organization. We are proud that Yellow is doing its part as the trucking industry becomes a career destination for women of all backgrounds.
To learn more about current opportunities at Yellow, visit our Careers page.
Yellow employees attend the 2021 Women In Trucking Accelerate! Conference.
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