Transforming the Way We Think about Women in Transportation
Today, more than ever, we are seeing strides in changing the narrative of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the transportation industry. Women are transforming the way we view their role in this varied line of work. What once was considered a male-dominated field is now seeing more women take charge in the industry, such as two of our East End Chamber members: Marcia H. Faschingbauer and Rebecca Roberts.
According to the U.S. Census, the number of women in transportation occupations only increased by three percent from 2005 to 2019, with 15 percent of 14.8 million of the transportation workforce being women. Faschingbauer and Roberts are securing their place in this ever-growing industry.
Marcia H. Faschingbauer
Excargo was a dream of Faschingbauer, who wanted to have the best container transport company around and offer things she felt were missing from the industry, with customer-centric being at its core. “I fell in love with all the moving parts of transportation, in that role. No two days were ever the same. I love a challenge and the port was definitely a challenge to figure out,” Faschingbauer said.
Faschingbauer admits she “wasn’t one of the boys.” “I didn’t quite realize what an anomaly I was until customers would drag me into their bosses office and say, “Guess what she does! You’ll never believe it!” She learned the trucking business inside and out while garnering her business degrees and joining national trade associations. She built her contacts by making friends across the country. “Trucking is a fascinating industry which is essential to the economy. The challenges are never ending,” said Faschingbauer, who admits she loves the drivers. “That is my secret sauce. I listen, I learn, and I speak Spanish. I am often one of the few gringas that knows their homeland.”
While Excargo is not a family-owned entity, Faschingbauer is creating a legacy plan that includes developing a team of younger leaders to run the company with the same grit and determination of “making deadlines and helping customers succeed.” Her blueprint for success includes setting quarterly goals that she accomplishes by setting up blocks for sales, customers, team meetings, and working strategically.
Faschingbauer described her career as “innovative." Her advice for women just starting in the business is to be “SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely." She credits our East End Chamber with offering educational events, networking opportunities, and a support system that is beneficial to its members. “The Chamber has been very impactful and definitely is the best value of all associations.”
Established in 2011, All Points Warehouse Inc. is a family-owned transportation business run by Roberts. Her team of talented women includes her daughters Renee and Pricilla, along with her nieces Jennifer, Michelle, and Lucy, all of whom she states are the “backbone” of the company. According to Roberts, the company is a recognized Woman-Owned Business by the State of Texas and registered as a Historically Underutilized Business.
Roberts said they chose to create a “Hub” for their various transportation companies by creating a base and providing a location in which they could expand their services. Today Rebecca and her family have three trucking companies. “The industry is an undying necessity and seemed to be a good foundation for family business,” Roberts said, who also promotes hiring other women and assigning them key roles in the company.
Empowering women-owned businesses is important, but their journey isn’t without obstacles. According to Roberts, the challenges of communicating in this “primarily male-dominated” industry can be an “extremely difficult and delicate” process. “To overcome such challenges, it was important to develop a support system of both genders to cater to the needs of everyone involved.” It’s about building trust with your team and lenders, Roberts said.
While there are many facets to a family-owned business, Roberts, and her team, including her husband, the Vice President, address many issues daily, from new business to driver maintenance. In addition, Robert’s role also consists of being a motivator, coach, and instilling positive morale within the workplace. But her first and foremost advice for success she would give to other women in this industry would be to “put your plan in God’s hands and dedicate your business to honor and glorify him in everything you do.”
In October 2021, MobilityXX, a partnership of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), launched a campaign to increase the number of women in the transportation workforce by 10% over the next ten years. Nowhere is this more evident than in our East End and the strides of Faschingbauer and Roberts leading the way for more women to follow in their footsteps.
Here at the Chamber, we strive to support and promote all women in the workforce across various industries each year through events like our East End Women in Business Luncheon, the East End Awards Celebration in December, and an abundance of programs held over the year. If you want to learn more about our Chamber and our member benefits, visit our website here.