We’re halfway through International Women’s Month and we’ve truly enjoyed the great interviews with DeltaTrak’s customers. This week, we spoke with a woman in technology - Product Manager, Ruby Wang. Her company, Hwy Haul, is a digital freight brokerage platform which connects shippers with truck drivers. Ruby is passionate about using technology to improve the human experience, and that passion clearly guides her work.
Question: What is your role exactly?
Ruby: I am a product manager and I also do technology partner research. That’s how I found DeltaTrak. We’re trying to see what technology would help us. We are heavily focused on fresh produce. My main role is building our technology platform. As Product Manager, I work closely with designers and engineers to build products. The other part is we are also trying to see if there is technology that would also help us enhance our services, so I’m also doing third party technology partner research.
Question: How long have you been with the company and what did you do before?
Ruby: I’ve been with the company 2.5 years. I’ve been in the industry for 8 years and my role is always Product Manager.
Question: Why did you choose this profession?
Ruby: That’s a big question. There are many (reasons). The first one is that I’m picky about products. Think about the iPhone – it has actually changed our lives. Think about the possibility of autonomous cars coming in the future. I want to be part of those innovations. I want to be the one building those innovations. I want to be the Product Manager and think about the user’s pain points and what technologies can we use to help people solve problems. I also happen to have the combined background in business technology and user experience. This puts me in a very good position to bridge the gap between business and technology.
Question: So what is your degree in?
Ruby: I have a master’s degree in software product management and my bachelor’s degree is in business administration.
Question: The International Women’s Day theme for 2021 is #ChooseToChallenge, which highlights the importance of challenging biases and misconceptions in the interest of creating a more inclusive and gender-equal world. What are your thoughts about biases and misconceptions in tech?
Ruby: I think the tech industry is still dominated by mostly males. Just think about the percentage of men you are working with. Women are definitely the minority. I think at the entry level you won’t feel it as much, but when you want to advance your career I think it’s getting a little harder and harder. Unconscious bias is widely there in the industry. Women are afraid to reach out for help because people in the higher levels are mostly male and you don’t want to over complicate the relationship. If higher level people are not mentoring you, not giving you a sponsor, it’s harder for women to move up.
Question: What do you think is the biggest issue facing women professionals today?
Ruby: I think I see a lot of people having challenges when they have kids. It’s hard to balance family life with work. I’m putting in a lot of effort at work at this point in time. I don’t want to generalize, but women are not brave enough to ask for what we want. There’s a survey that says men ask for a lot more on the salary side and promotions. Women are probably not trained very well on how to ask for what they want. It’s definitely a big challenge. I’m in a group called Women in Product and I think people are trying to be very supportive and share their experiences. I don’t think men share as much. It seems to just be their nature. They know how to do it. I hope some day in the near future no one needs to discuss this anymore because we have reached true gender equity.
Question: Is Hwy Haul considered a third party logistics company?
Ruby: We don’t position (ourselves) that way. We are a digital brokerage.
Question: In your opinion, what is the biggest supply chain issue today?
Ruby: I think this is a very solid, mature industry, but it is not digitalized. It is a huge industry. It’s a $700 Billion dollar industry, but still works in a very traditional way, with a lot of paperwork. I think digitalization is the biggest problem, and it could be much more efficient and productive.
Question: How do you think the DeltaTrak Real-Time Logger helps to manage the cold chain?
Ruby: I think the transparency is definitely the biggest advantage. It’s also easy to install. (HwyHaul provides DeltaTrak’s real-time loggers to their customers in an effort to help prevent rejected loads.) The industry-wide rejection rate is 10-14%. We have cut that in half.
Question: Are you able to quantify that in terms of money saved?
Ruby: I wouldn’t just quantity that as money saved. It’s more a relationship with our shippers, because if they don’t have load rejections with us they feel like (we) are more reliable. If a load is rejected there is a (lengthy) follow-up process that drivers have to (complete), so it also strengthens our relationship with drivers.
Question: What are the biggest challenges facing your industry and what do you think are the solutions?
Ruby: That’s a very big question. We are gradually building the solutions. I think efficiency is probably the biggest problem and we are trying to help that with digitalization and bridging the gap between the shipper and the truck driver. There are so many loads in the industry and there are so many truck drivers. If we have a better way of connecting them together that can cause a big change.
The information our customers have shared so far in this series, has been incredibly insightful. There are more interviews ahead, so be sure to check back next week.