Trucker Tools is interviewing women from across the transportation industry throughout the entire month of March to celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. We’re celebrating female leaders in transportation, from owner operators, company drivers and social media influencers to executives and freight brokerage owners. We recently spoke with Rhonda Bompensa-Zimmerman, Director of Fitness and Wellness for GlobalTranz, to learn more about her career and the opportunities that exist for women at GlobalTranz. Rhonda spoke to us about how some of her current colleagues inspire her and why thinks the transportation industry offers women some unique opportunities — all of which we share here.

Transitioning from Higher Education to Transportation

When we spoke to Rhonda, she told us that she started out as a Phys Ed teacher. As an educator, she worked with college students, high school students, middle school students and at-risk children. Rhonda told us that enjoyed her work with at-risk kids, in particular, because she, herself, had a tough childhood and wanted to give back to kids experiencing similar struggles. Rhonda also has worked in commercial gyms teaching a variety of group exercise classes, was (is) a one-one-one private personal trainer, and worked at several colleges running student recreation centers, all experiences that she enjoyed. As a single mom, Rhonda eventually went back to school part time and earned her PhD in health psychology. 

“When I was originally brought on at GlobalTranz, I was a vendor,” said Rhonda. “The company was opening a gym and eventually the position of director of fitness and wellness was created for me. We’ve been open for three and a half years now. I went from a higher education academic setting and working in an athletic department to a corporate environment where I’m working with a lot of young folks who are learning how to start thinking about how important it is to take care of their health.”

“When I was originally brought on at GlobalTranz, I was a vendor,” said Rhonda. “The company was opening a gym and eventually the position of director of fitness and wellness was created for me. We’ve been open for three and a half years now. I went from a higher education academic setting and working in an athletic department to a corporate environment where I’m working with a lot of young folks who are learning how to start thinking about how important it is to take care of their health.”

Opportunities for Women at GlobalTranz and in Transportation

Rhonda told us that she loves working in transportation and at GlobalTranz because of the team spirit and company culture. According to Rhonda, the GlobalTranz company culture centers on inclusion and fosters an understanding of how employees can impact one another at work. She said that spirit of inclusion permeates the organization and has created space for all employees to grow and develop. Rhonda told us that GlobalTranz is like a second family for her and that she feels very fortunate to work in a company culture that is authentic. According to Rhonda, there are a lot of women in leadership positions at GlobalTranz thanks to the company’s inclusive, authentic company culture. 

“All of my direct reporting is to women in leadership positions at GlobalTranz,” said Rhonda. “The women leaders within the company are so phenomenal, inspiring and intelligent. That’s what really motivates me and really excites me to learn more about this industry. There are ample opportunities for females here. We all have different positions and skill sets, but every female that I have met here is so passionate and dedicated, whether it’s someone working with our agents, somebody in procurement, People Ops or leadership. Their ability to keep their teams together over the last year, in particular, has been really amazing to see.” 

“All of my direct reporting is to women in leadership positions at GlobalTranz,” said Rhonda. “The women leaders within the company are so phenomenal, inspiring and intelligent. That’s what really motivates me and really excites me to learn more about this industry. There are ample opportunities for females here. We all have different positions and skill sets, but every female that I have met here is so passionate and dedicated, whether it’s someone working with our agents, somebody in procurement, People Ops or leadership. Their ability to keep their teams together over the last year, in particular, has been really amazing to see.” 

Rhonda told us that GlobalTranz is growing and that she’s seeing more women come into the company and into the transportation industry at large. 

“We have seen more females coming into this industry all of a sudden and I think it’s because so many industries have gone under because of COVID-19,” shared Rhonda. “We just had two new female employees come through the other day and they told me they’re coming from other industries and professions, which is pretty exciting! We’ve had support from leadership down about having flexible schedules, which has been key, I think. I used to work in academia and there are so many more opportunities for women here than what I saw at huge universities.”

Getting Inspired

When we asked Rhonda who inspires her, she said that her boss, Angie Tessmer, is one of her biggest inspirations. Rhonda said that her position at GlobalTranz was created and her work with the company expanded because Angie recognized that Rhonda’s background could really be of help to employees. Rhonda told us that she respects Angie’s ability to be firm in negotiations, yet also compassionate and thoughtful.

“Angie’s got it all,” Rhonda said. “She speaks to people from around the world and she’s so direct and straight to the point. She’s also very good at dialing back and being reflective. When it comes to negotiations, Angie will do her homework and then come back and have a game plan and not give in. She’s also the most compassionate boss I’ve ever had and the first person that I’ve worked with who gives you your job and lets you roll with it. She’s my go-to if I need a second set of ears on anything or if I have an idea. The programming at the gym is so much bigger than it was when I first came in, and that’s a result of her letting me do my thing and run the gym in a way that maybe was a little different than what was originally planned. I was a vendor when I first came on, so my scope of work was very limited and when Angie learned that I have a degree in behavioral health psychology, she let me dive right in.”

Read Female Leaders in Transportation: Nora Griffin, Marketing Director of Partner Programs for McLeod Software, the first interview in our month-long Female Leaders in Transportation series. Schedule a demo of Trucker Tools’ freight tracking platform, digital freight matching platform and Book-It-Now®.

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