She’s Paving the Way for Future Female Drivers

Supply Chain

Cara Boyle has a passion for driving that leaves any doubters in her dust.

When Cara Boyle first got her commercial driver’s license (CDL), her family didn’t think she could handle a truck.

“Now, 30 years later, here I am,” she says. “I've driven tankers; I've driven flatbeds; I've driven school buses. I've hauled liquid tankers, and now I'm hauling a dry box. And I love it!”

Teaming on the road

It all started when her husband, Mark Boyle, got his CDL when they were newlyweds. During his first extended trip away from home, she realized she wanted to drive, too. So, she surprised him and got her CDL.

“When she sets her mind to do something, she does it,” Mark says. “She's a very hard worker.”

The couple drove as a team for 10 years: While one drove, the other slept. It’s a fast way to move freight across the U.S. Plus, they got to see the whole country together.

When they welcomed their daughter, Cara downshifted to drive locally.

In May 2020, Cara joined the Walmart Private Fleet. After Mark saw how happy she was, “he decided that Walmart was where he wanted to be, too. And now he loves his job!”

Today, both Cara and Mark are proud to be Walmart drivers.

Finding peace at the wheel

Driving a semi-truck requires skill, patience and practice. Cara believes driving also provides benefits for her mental health.

That huge windshield? “It’s my mental health window,” Cara says. If she spends too much time in the office, she gets antsy. “Driving — that's my alone time. I don't let traffic bother me. If someone cuts me off, it's no big deal. They're not going to ruin my day.”

Female bonding at its best

“Being a woman in a predominantly male-driven business — I'm very proud of her,” says her husband of 33 years. “I’m proud of all the women on the road who take the initiative to go out there and get it done.”

“I’m here because I’m good at what I do,” says Cara. And she’s clearly in good company: Walmart was named one of Women in Trucking’s Top Companies for Women to Work For in Transportation.

She enjoys strong bonds with other female drivers. “My friend Sheena Sweetwood is a great representative of women in trucking,” Cara says. “I might see her twice a year, if that. But every time we see each other, it’s like we haven't been apart. That's the camaraderie we have. You make lifelong frisendships.”

Paying it forward

“The women who've come before me made a good path for me to follow,” Cara says.

Now Cara pays it forward by teaching a driver skills course with seven close-quarter maneuvers for big rigs. “It's getting yourself out of a tight spot, and knowing what your truck and trailer can do,” Cara explains. “You put it in your toolbox. You might not use it for years.”

But when you need one of those skills — and you will! — it’s there.

Upholding a culture of respect

“The culture here at Walmart is great. The drivers who came before me — you'd see them walking into a Walmart store, you'd see their white shirts, and they earned respect,” Cara says.

“I want to continue that Walmart culture for the drivers who are coming behind me.”

Explore more stories