“If you’re prepared to put the hard work in and get a little dirty along the way, there are a lot of really great opportunities out there.” Yasmin Forster, Branch Manager for Truckline, on changing attitudes and building a career within the transport industry 

Hot Chicks with Big Brains: Please can you tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?

Yasmin Forster: I’m the branch manager of Truckline Brooklyn, and I’m responsible for the day to day running of the branch. We service fleets, workshops, and owner operators—anyone with a need for parts within the transport industry.  I’m a mum to two beautiful girls (4 and 14) and have a wonderful husband who also works in the transport industry.

HCwBB: How did you first get started within the transport industry?

YF: I was 18 and wanted a fulltime job. I started on the factory floor of trailer manufacturer Vawdrey in fabrication, drilling guard poles, and then moved into finishing wiring up lights, fitting curtains etc. Then I was offered the opportunity to move into spare parts, and I jumped at it. The rest took off from that point.

HCwBB: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced while building your career within this industry?

YF: Coming into the industry at the start and knowing nothing about it.

I was learning every day, and I still do. I’ll never stop.

The industry attitude to females in transport has changed a lot—it’s become much more accepted that we have just as much ability/knowledge as anyone else. From that, opportunities have grown to [help us] succeed and advance our careers.

HCwBB: Do you think attitudes towards women within the industry have changed since you first began working within it? If so, how and why?

YF: I’ve been in the industry a while now, and it has evolved to be a lot more accepting. People are aware that there are females who do know what they’re talking about and do know how to help keep their vehicles on the road.  There’s still the odd issue, but it’s a lot more rare these days. There’s a very small percentage of people who still have the old mentality that this industry is a man’s world and [those people] might challenge your knowledge or service. It’s nice to be able to reshape those perceptions by helping those people with the answers and finding the parts they need to keep moving. You then hope that someone’s gender won’t factor in when they need something the next time around if you’ve been able to give them a positive interaction.

HCwBB: What’s given you the greatest sense of achievement within your career to date?

YF: Working hard over the years and gaining knowledge and experience while moving up through the industry, to now running a branch for the biggest independent parts suppliers in Australia. That has been my biggest achievement.

HCwBB: Who are some of the women who inspire you most and why?

YF: Casey Stewart, Truckline’s Territory Business Manager for VIS/TAS, is amazing.

She has worked hard and is a perfect example of [the sort of person] I can be. I strive to improve myself on a daily basis with her guidance, mentoring, and friendship.

P!nkEm Rusiano, and Rosie Waterland are strong women who have carved out successful careers and have an amazing outlook on life. They inspire me to be better and do better.

HCwBB: What’s one thing you wish was more widely known about your experiences in your role and the work you do?

YF: That it’s a rewarding career path.

If you’re prepared to put the hard work in and get a little dirty along the way, there are a lot of really great opportunities out there.

This industry is not just what is portrayed negatively—there are so many great people/stories to be heard, and we need more of that at the forefront. I would hate for a minority to be what turns young women away from entering the industry.


Compiled and edited by Emma Kate Lewis

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