Truckload carrier recognized as one of America's best employers for diversity

( PHOTO: TRUCKSTOCKIMAGES.COM )

(PHOTO: TRUCKSTOCKIMAGES.COM)

Forbes has named Covenant Transport (NASDAQ: CVTI) one of America’s Best Employers For Diversity in 2019. Coming in at number 463, Covenant was the only truckload carrier to make the list.

Forbes partnered with market research company Statista to determine the top 500 employers for diversity. Statista anonymously surveyed 50,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees.

“Respondents were first asked to rate their organizations on criteria such as age, gender, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation equality, as well as that of general diversity,” Forbes explained in its methodology. “These responses were reviewed for potential diversity gaps. So if workers from minority groups, for example, rated an organization poorly on diversity, but nonminority groups rated it highly, Statista would take that into account and adjust the company’s score accordingly.”

Respondents belonging to minority groups were also asked to nominate business other than their own.

The final list represents not only the companies with the most nominations, but also the companies with the most diverse boards and executive ranks. Inclusion initiatives were also taken into account, according to Forbes.

Covenant Transport President Joey Hogan was thrilled to hear that Covenant made the list, attributing much of the company’s success to its long-time guiding principles.

“I’ve been here almost 22 years, and what we always strive to do is hire the best person for the job,” Hogan said. “Age doesn’t matter. I’ve hired new employees who are, by the world’s standards, considered in the later chapters of their lives. If you’ve got the desire to do what you signed up to do, and you’re passionate about doing the best job you can, there are a lot of opportunities available to you here.”

About 18 percent of Covenant’s drivers are women, more than double the industry average of 7 percent.

The first driver to hit 3 million accident-free miles in Covenant’s history was a woman. Renae Dohrer celebrated that milestone in 2015.

"I'm just glad it was a woman who did it, most of all," Dohrer told the Chattanooga Times Free Press. "It's challenging for a woman because you're invading a man's world."

Women of Covenant is one engagement tool for the company’s female employees--from drivers to vice presidents. It is a title-neutral group that provides both in-person and digital support for women within the company. The group allows women to seek advice and help each other thrive in the trucking world.

“We do attract a good size female population on the driving side. We’ve always had a high percentage of female drivers,” Hogan said. “Almost 45 percent of our drivers belong to minority groups, and I am tickled by that.”

He said Covenant’s Hispanic workforce has also exploded on the non-driving side, as the company has hired people to assist Hispanic drivers with any communication difficulties that may arise.

“Our guiding principles are empathy, servanthood and virtue, and all three of those words don’t get talked about a lot in the business world,” Hogan said. “Those things are what drive our company, and if we do a good job on those, it is going to attract people that may be looking for a more personal touch.”

Hogan thinks these guiding principles play a large role in attracting both women and minorities to the company, though they were not put in place specifically for that purpose.