In the third edition of this special series spotlighting some of the women leaders of our industry, we feature Florence Berthelot, General Delegate of IRU member the Fédération Nationale des Transports Routiers (FNTR).
How would you describe yourself?
I’m trained as a lawyer and passionate about transport, international topics, advocacy and collective action.
I was the first woman in many of my roles.
I’m also a mother of two and I need to feel useful to others.
What challenges have you faced as a woman in your career?
Finding the right balance between my professional and private life.
How did you overcome that?
Strong organisational skills and surrounding myself with people who can help me in my personal life (nannies, parents, etc).
I’ve also developed a great sense of responsibility and the ability to adapt.
It also helps to know what is important and being present for your family.
What has been your experience as a female leader at FNTR?
Learn, learn, learn! Never stop learning!
Credibility is based on professionalism and expertise in all topics that you manage.
What is your recommendation to women who wish to grow professionally?
To have a vision of what you can bring rather than what you can gain personally.
Find a way to be useful to the society and community that you are a part of, not to satisfy your ego, but to help others.
What matters is that you bring something meaningful to your community. What you say isn’t important, it’s how you act and what you do!
What do women bring to the road transport industry?
Women, just like men, aren’t a uniform group. Everyone comes with their own competencies and skills.
What is FNTR doing to attract more women?
I already have more women than men in my team. I look at competencies, not gender.
In this industry, there is a deficit of women drivers due to the cultural belief that it’s a male job.
What we do is to promote that there are different jobs in the industry. Some jobs, such as delivery roles, are day jobs, and you get to go home every evening.
We also advocate for a similar model to Spain and Portugal, where drivers are not responsible for the loading and unloading of goods. Better reception conditions at customers' premises and rest areas would contribute to making the driver profession more attractive.