Sofia Koutsoukou has defied all stereotypes that want a married Greek woman with children to have a cushy job, or no job at all, and decided to become a truck driver.
The Rhodes woman has a college degree, speaks three languages and only weeks after her second daughter was born, she received all the professional licenses necessary in becoming a truck driver, according to local newspaper Dimokratiki.
Speaking to Dimokratiki, Sofia thanked her husband and her parents for backing her decision, which was to follow a profession that she really loves. At the same time, she described how finally her male colleagues started to accept her as their equal.
“I drive a 16-meter truck. My dad was in this job and I have pictures of that since I was little. He had taken me with him many times, we spent many hours in the truck,” the young woman said.
The big decision was taken in 2010, when Sofia left other jobs that had nothing to do with linguistics – her studies – and took the license exams to drive a truck, a bus and other large commercial vehicles.
She started with a 10-meter, three-axle truck six years ago. “The first time I drove a three-axle truck into town, in the center, I remember that my legs were trembling.” Nevertheless, she thanks the man who trusted her to drive his truck at the beginning.
At first, her parents and husband believed that Sofia would not make it through and give up the “man’s job” as soon as she faced the real hardships. Yet, Sofia persevered and six years later she is still at the wheel.
Sofia said that driving a truck is not the average nine-to-five job. Her shifts are not fixed. “Some days I leave at dawn and come back in the evening … I can do it thanks to the patience and understanding of my husband and mom and dad who help me with the children.”
She has no problems with her colleague, either. Since her dad was on the job for decades, all Rhodes truck drivers know her and support her. Some passenger car drivers who see her on the road roll their eyes. In the summer, tourists take pictures of her in her truck. But overall, when Sofia does her job, she is one of the professional truck drivers.