Inspiring Inclusion – Supporting Women in the World of Logistics

Today (8th March), people around the world are celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) who’s mission for women at work is ‘to forge inclusive work cultures where women’s careers thrive and their achievements are celebrated’. The NX Group is passionate about supporting females within the industry and also encouraging more women to consider careers in the logistics and transport industry.

Driving Diversity

The road transport and logistics industry is one of the most vital industries in the UK with over 1 million employees.  In recent years the industry has begun to make strides in diversity and inclusion and in particular attracting more women to the sector. However, research suggests only 20% of the sector workforce is female and according to Logistics UK, with women make up only 1-3% of HGV drivers, which is one of the largest gender imbalances in UK business.

With currently around 20% of our workforce being female we have always encouraged women within our business and have even bucked the trend at times with up to a third of employees being female.  As a company we are also committed to raising the profile of the industry for women, with a view to attracting prospective employees who may previously not have considered logistics or transport as a potential career path.

From recent school-leavers or university graduates to those who are contemplating a career change, the transport sector offers a broad range of roles and progression opportunities for males and females alike.

Alison Nix, HR administrator says: “Diversity and inclusion has certainly grown within the logistics industry and it’s great to see more women coming through for roles – we have even just taken on our first female driver!  We strive to ensure we have equality within our workplace and also put emphasis on equity during our recruitment process.

“Women are an untapped talent that the industry could benefit from. With transport and logistics generally perceived as more male orientated we want to show that it’s a great industry with many career opportunities for females too.”

Empowering Journeys – Top tips for women navigating a career in transport

Here some of our female team members give their top three tips for other women looking to get into the industry:

Explore all available options

Take time to look into the many roles and routes the industry has to offer – from driving to data management – and see which one appeals to you the most.

Emilia Szubartowska, Key Accounts Executive, says: “I always like to be busy and so joining the fast-paced transport office at NX was ideal for me.  Every day is different which encourages me to continually learn and improve in order to find solutions.”

Kayla-May Hennessy, NX’s first female driver, says: “If you enjoy driving then it’s definitely something to look into doing, the work doesn’t have to be heavy or dirty if that’s what you prefer, you just have to look around to find the right role for you.”

Ludmila Ghiletchi, our warehouse manager who has worked at NX for over five years, says: “There are many different roles on offer in the logistics industry. In the warehouse the work is varied but also rewarding. My role relies on teamwork and I’m extremely proud of the team we have in the department and how we all work so effectively together.”

Be yourself – the right person for the job.

The logistics and transport sector offers a great many opportunities for staff with the right skill set to thrive, climb the career ladder and realise their ambitions from the ground up.

“I have built a good rapport with the drivers, who are mostly men, and I feel they respond well to my calm manner.  The transport industry benefits from having a mixture of men and women as both bring slightly different perspectives on things” Emilia explains.

Kayla adds: “There are some advantages of being a female driver, one of which is that there will always be a man close by on site who will offer to help if you are struggling with something – or even you aren’t struggling they still love to offer to help!

All our ladies agree that patience, multi-tasking, prioritising and learning to find prompt solutions to all problems are skills that are integral to their respective roles. Transferable skills such as these, if even if acquired in a different career, can prove invaluable in this sector.

Just do it!

If in doubt, talking to people in the industry – both men and women – should answer any questions you’ve got about the sector and help you to take the plunge.

“There is no denying that the hours of a driver can be long but it is also a very rewarding job. It can be a daunting industry for females to get involved in and the perception of it being dirty and heavy work can put some people off.  But there are so many different types of driving roles and sectors that it’s really about finding the right type of transport job in the industry for you. The logistics and transport industry definitely needs more women involved” comments Kayla.

“Don’t be put off by stereotypes,” Emilia urges. “Times are changing and it is becoming increasingly acknowledged that warehousing and logistics workplaces are in fact gender-neutral, and that men and women can do the same jobs, whilst bringing different skills and abilities to the roles.”

“If you feel that you have a strong personality, are patient, assertive and can wear many hats and change them quickly, go for it,” Ludmila concludes.

Paving the Way – the Future of Women in Logistics

It’s clear that women are making significant contributions in our important industry, whether it’s behind the wheel or behind the scenes.  Tackling the barriers, encouraging inclusivity and empowering women will help to grow the industry and ensure women are not only navigating the sector but also helping to drive it into the future.

We hope the stories from our female employees will encourage and inspire other women to explore the options or pursue their career ambitions in the logistics industry.

Some useful resources for women looking to find out more or get into the industry are:

At The NX Group we specialise in providing highly secure, bespoke distribution, warehousing and e-commerce solutions.

For more information about our company, you can also follow us on LinkedIn and on Twitter via @thenxgroup.