The Provincial Towing Association of Ontario (PTAO) will host its inaugural Women in Towing Appreciation Luncheon during the 25th anniversary of its Tow Trade Show this fall.
by Tammy Vandenheuvel, secretary/treasurer, Provincial Towing Association of Ontario (PTAO)
In 1991, two months before our wedding, I foolishly agreed to support my soon to be husband, Gary, in venturing out to start our own towing company, not really knowing what I had signed up for.
Fast forward to today, and 32 years seems to have gone by in a blink.
As I reflect on these last 32 years, I remember what it was like to be a woman in the towing industry. I don’t have to tell you that this is a very male dominated field that doesn’t make it easy for a woman to operate in. Many times over the years I have had customers ask to speak to the owner, and I remember the look of disbelief on their faces when I told them, “You are looking at her.” I know that other women in the towing industry can identify with this.
As a woman in towing, I have been involved in every aspect of our business except that I refused to learn to drive the tow trucks. That was my hard stop. I do all the business management (invoicing, dispatching, accounting, bill paying, accident cleanup, employee management, cargo handling, customer relations, government reporting, safety, etc.), along with having a full-time career elsewhere and being the primary caregiver of our family. It is a lot! Am I right ladies?
“Many times over the years I have had customers ask to speak to the owner, and I remember the look of disbelief on their faces when I told them, ‘You are looking at her.’”
It is easy to forget who we are when we are involved in a business and supporting our spouses.
I feel that we don’t give ourselves enough credit or get enough credit for the important work that we do to keep the business afloat and make it successful. Being a woman in the towing industry doesn’t mean you have to sit behind the steering wheel of a wrecker. It is any woman who contributes to the success of their towing operation or the industry as a whole.
As a tow company owner and a member of the board of directors of the Provincial Towing Association of Ontario (PTAO), I am aware that not enough attention or appreciation is given to the women of towing. I would like to help change this.
On Saturday September 16, 2023, the PTAO will be hosting its first-ever Women in Towing Appreciation Luncheon at our 25th anniversary of our 2023 Tow Trade Show.
When we celebrate women, we send a message that we value them and their contributions. We show them that we see their strength and resilience, even in the face of adversity. We inspire them to keep fighting for equality, and we remind them that they are not alone. And most of all, we remind them that they are amazing.
I am very excited to bring this event to the show, and I can’t wait to gather with all the amazing women in towing. I invite you to come, to network with other women, to share your stories, and to celebrate each other. I think this is the start of something great! Let’s see where we can take it! 🍁