INTERVIEW WITH MONICA TRUELSCH
Monica Truelsch’s qualities as a logistics executive are matched
only by her intense drive to see that women get the opportunities
in the field they deserve, and that they succeed at them.
BY MARK B. SOLOMON, EXECUTIVE EDITOR – NEWS
THE DC VELOCITY Q&A
THERE ARE BUSINESSPEOPLE, AND THERE ARE
advocates. Then there are the rare folk like Monica R.
Truelsch. Truelsch has a demanding day job as director of marketing for logistics software developer TMW
Systems, where she’s been for 11 years. But she has
also become a tireless advocate for expanding career
advancement opportunities for women in logistics, not
just because it’s the right thing to do, but also because
the field badly needs an infusion of
qualified and knowledgeable professionals to meet the surging demand for
supply chain talent.
Truelsch’s résumé is as varied as it
gets. She has applied her deep technical knowledge to fields such as chemical handling, engineered materials,
artificial intelligence, and industrial
laboratory management. She has held
positions as product manager, vice
president of sales, and general manager. Today, Truelsch is responsible
for TMW’s corporate messaging, public relations, advertising, and product
At her behest, TMW sponsored the first “Distinguished
Woman in Logistics” award competition, which had
been established by the Women in Trucking Association,
an advocacy group. The 2015 award was presented in
April at the Transportation Intermediaries Association’s
annual conference in Orlando, Fla., to Kristy Knichel,
president of Gibsonia, Pa.-based Knichel Logistics.
During the ceremonies, Truelsch delivered an impas-
sioned speech highlighting the growing role of women
in the industry and across American business. Her
remarks, which true to her technical form were support-
ed by numerous data points, resonated with the attend-
ees throughout the rest of the conference.
Truelsch spoke recently with Mark B. Solomon, executive editor – news, about her career, the outlook for
women’s advancement in the profession, how prospects
have brightened, and where the culture needs to change.
Q You’ve described yourself as being the first woman or the only woman in many of the positions you’ve
held. Could you describe some of the
experiences associated with that?
A When I began working in an inside sales position during the early
1980s, it was commonplace to answer
the phone and have a man demand to
speak to “my boss” because he didn’t
have time to deal with an administrative person, which I was assumed
to be. Typically, I would reply with
something like, “I’m sorry, but my
boss is out of the office at the moment.
Let me just get a few details from you
and we can get back to you quickly
with the quote you need.” This opened
the door for me to begin asking highly
technical questions about volumetrics, process design,
chemical concentrations, and corrosivity, and then suggest a range of materials for the equipment. Before they
realized it, we would be engaged in the sort of discussion
they assumed I wasn’t capable of. For women in all types
of male-dominated industries, establishing credibility
and competency as fast as possible is essential to our
Q The University of Tennessee (UT) published a paper in April saying 77 percent of organizations surveyed
have no budget or “roadmap” for supply chain talent
Balancing the scales