Volvo Trucks is partnering with Girl Torque in a bid to encourage more women to join the haulage industry.

Founded last year by HGV driver Karen Sutherland (pictured) of Aberdeenshire-based haulier Ian S Roger, Girl Torque aims to promote the role of women in the transport and logistics sector and raise funds for charity.

The organisation has grown rapidly since launch and now has nearly 50 women members, who all work in the UK haulage industry – many as HGV drivers.

Announcing the partnership, Neil Park, MD of Volvo Truck and Bus Centre North and Scotland, said: “What Karen and the team have achieved with Girl Torque in such a short space of time is simply incredible.

“We recognise that the road transport industry has traditionally had a gender imbalance – and still does – but together we believe we can support each other to help drive change and strengthen the industry for the future.

“At Volvo Trucks, we are focused on increasing inclusion and improving gender balance within our own team, but we also recognise the benefits to wider industry in having more women represented, whether that be in the cab, workshop, factory, office, or boardroom.

“Joining forces with Girl Torque will help us to dispel outdated myths around working in transport and promote the wider career opportunities available to women.”

Karen Sutherland, founder of Girl Torque, who drives a Volvo FH 540 Dual Clutch, added: “I had to pinch myself when Volvo said they wanted to enter into a partnership with us.

“This whole idea of Girl Torque began at my kitchen table last year – to now have this kind of support from a global brand is simply incredible. When I told the girls they couldn’t believe it!”

Looking to the future, she added: “We’re currently busy preparing to launch our 2023 calendar, plus we have a range of dual-branded Girl Torque and Volvo merchandise coming.

“It’s fair to say that with this new partnership, our fundraising objectives have just been turbocharged. There’s really no ceiling to what we can achieve together.”

Volvo Group has set itself a target of having 35% women within its workforce by 2030, and has a variety of initiatives to help it achieve that target.

Announcing the partnership with Girl Torque it said: “On a daily basis the group is striving to move the needle towards increased gender equality not only because it is ‘fair’ and ‘the right thing to do’, but because it is essential for business performance and the future prospects of the industry.”