When Heather Jones turned 28, she sat behind the wheel of a truck for the first time. Fate led her to become a truck driver to support her young daughters. Leaving her job as a secretary, she embarked on a journey across the roads of Western Australia. Today, at 51, she owns her own transportation company.
In the early ’90s, Heather’s husband left her alone with their young daughters, Kirsty (4 years old) and Chelsea (only 5). While she had a stable job as an accountant in a mining company, her salary was modest, making it challenging to provide a decent life for them. A trucker friend offered her a chance to try her luck as a truck driver, and Heather decided to take on the challenge.
“I can’t even imagine what would have happened to us if my friend hadn’t offered me this job. The salary was much better. And now, I work for myself. That offer completely changed our lives,” recalls Heather. At that time, the concept of female truck drivers was novel, as the field was mainly dominated by men. However, Heather found allies who supported her every step of the way.
She took her young daughters with her on her journeys, even having to equip a small compartment in the truck’s cabin with sleeping spaces, a bathroom, and a refrigerator. The kids learned on the road since they didn’t have the opportunity to attend school. The family lived this way for 7 years.
When the girls reached adolescence, they asked their mother to enroll them in school. Heather realized that her children needed their own home and stability. Therefore, she decided to take out a bank loan to invest in her business.
Heather had to overcome many difficulties before getting the loan. Many denied her request due to biases about freight transportation being an unsuitable job for women. Starting her own business wasn’t easy, and she worked day and night to establish the company on solid ground.
Today, at 51, Jones has her own company and a home in Perth. Her adult daughters help her in the family business. Twenty-seven years ago, she left her secretarial job to become a truck driver, and she has no regrets about her choice. Heather Jones has proven by example that a woman can achieve success in any field, even one traditionally considered “masculine.”