Women In Logistics
March 8th is International Women’s Day, and we’ve been investigating women in logistics. Despite the fact that there has been an incredible rise of women in the business world, the logistics sector is one which remains male dominated. Only one to two percent of the workforce in the world’s logistics sectors are women, although 125 million people work in this industry.
Although this statistic is less dramatic in the UK, it still remains that less than a quarter of the 1.5 million within the logistics industry are female, according to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).
Yet in recent years, some studies have concluded that having more female leaders, including board members, managers and supervisors, leads to better business outcomes. Examples of this include higher levels of productivity, safety and improved financial returns, as referenced in the 2009 Women in Supply Chain report.
This insight was supported by the PWC Transportation & Logistics 2030 report, which stated that companies with the most women board directors outperformed those with the least by an incredible 16% in return on sales, and by 26% in return on invested capital. These studies make a compelling business case for gender diversity and inclusion.
So if there are such strong evidence that women improve performance, why are we struggling to bring women into the logistics industry and what can be done to help resolve this?
The transport and logistics industry is typically described as a ‘non-traditional’ employment pathway for women and suffers from poor perceptions of its career opportunities for women. Addressing perceptions that the logistics industry is a career option for all is a real challenge as it’s hard to escape the fact that roles can involve moving and lifting.
We need to focus on the fact that logistics is applicable to every industry and business sector in the world – retail, life sciences, fashion, technology, construction, transport and so on. This means that in addition to needing drivers and warehouse operatives, there’s also a requirement for business development and customer-facing personnel.
Encouragingly, several market developments are creating viable opportunities to include women in ‘non-traditional’ roles in the local and global industry. These include advances in technology such as automatic gearboxes and hydraulic lifting equipment, the retirement of existing workers, increasing levels of education and improved technical training among new entrants in the workforce.
For more information on Women in Logistics, visit the group online (aptly named Women in Logistics!). For more information on how you can join Drivers Direct, visit our website or give us a call on 01928 572200.