When talk turns to career aspirations, parents often urge their young daughters to reach for the stars. But the trade group Women In Trucking (WIT) has been working to promote a more terrestrial alternative: piloting a big rig right here on Earth.
Taking a page from the "get 'em while they're young" playbook, the Plover, Wis.-based nonprofit has made it its mission to raise awareness among youngsters about career opportunities in trucking. In 2014, for example, it teamed up with the Girl Scouts to design a "Trucks are for girls" transportation patch. Now it appears the group is targeting an even younger crowd: Last month, it announced that it had collaborated with European toymaker Haba to introduce a plush WIT-themed doll.
The 13-inch-tall doll, named "Clare," comes clad in an "I Heart Trucking" T-shirt, red collar shirt, blue jeans, boots, and a Women In Trucking baseball cap. The story of her journey into the driver's seat of her very own 18-wheeler can be found on the package. To promote the doll's launch, WIT will make Clare the centerpiece of its "I Heart Trucking" photo contest this summer. Themed "Clare's First Road Trip," the contest will invite professional drivers across the country to submit photos featuring Clare from the road.
According to a WIT press release, Clare is the product of a chance meeting between Ellen Voie, WIT's founder and chief executive officer, and Lea Culliton, president of Haba USA, in an airport lounge. The talk turned to designing an empowering toy for girls, and a partnership was born. "The world is wide open for girls today, and I'm thrilled to be providing a toy that tells them that whatever they want to be is just great—whether that's a teacher or an ad exec or a professional driver," Voie said in the release.
Clare will be available at travel centers across the country in April as well as on Amazon.com and on the Haba website.