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100 years on: the women leading road transport into the future
Global | Geneva

100 years on: the women leading road transport into the future

6 Jun 2023 · People

In the fifth edition of this special series spotlighting some of the women leaders of our industry, we feature Maria Luisa Boyce, Vice President of Global Public Affairs at IRU member UPS.

How would you describe yourself?

A trade nerd who leads with intention and is inspired by faith and family.

What challenges have you faced as a woman in your career?

Accepting that the idea of “work-life balance” was putting too much pressure on me, creating guilt in my understanding of personal and professional success.

I felt guilty for not being there for my kids, or guilty for missing a work meeting. 

How did you overcome them?

I came to terms with the fact that some days or weeks will be more about work, and others more about family time, and being okay with this took pressure off me. Instead, I am more intentional about my work time (every meeting has a purpose) and family time (every memory counts and accumulates). 

What has been your experience as a female leader at UPS?

I have experienced informal and formal mentorships where I least expected it. 

If you are an intentional leader and understand your deliverables, UPS will give you the tools needed to lead and empower those around you.

I have learned to become a leader – who happens to be a woman – and believe in opening opportunities for others.

What is your recommendation to women who wish to grow professionally?

I'm going to sound like a song, but don't stop believing in yourself and never let fear guide you. Most important, be kind to yourself and others.

What do women bring to the road transport industry?

A lot! 

Women bring flexibility and thought agility to our industry. 

We provide a different angle, sometimes representing new customers or challenges that the industry would otherwise be unaware of.

What is UPS doing to attract more women?

UPS is a company that gives an opportunity to anyone who applies for a job.  

This year, UPS is celebrating 100 years since the first woman, Jessie Bell, was hired in 1923. She worked as a clerk-stenographer in our Los Angeles office.

Today, women belong in all roles at UPS. 

Our company is even led by one of the few women CEOs in the Fortune 50 ranks, Carol B. Tomé, while 46% of our Board of Directors are women – modelling our commitment to inclusion. 

We’re proudly working towards increasing the number of women in full-time management positions through leadership development opportunities.

More stories from our women series

In the first story of this series, we featured Iro Doumani, General Manager of IRU member the Hellenic Federation of Road Transport, and Vice President of IRU’s Goods Transport Council.

The second story profiles Anna Grönlund, Deputy Managing Director of IRU member the Swedish Bus and Coach Federation, and Vice President of IRU’s Passenger Transport Council.

The third profile is on Florence Berthelot, General Delegate of IRU member the Fédération Nationale des Transports Routiers.

The fourth story features Theresa-Jasmin Meyering, Trainer and Bus & Coach Business Manager at Meyering Verkehrsbetriebe.