Women can work in any role within the logistics industry and the opportunities are vast. However, gender bias needs to be overcome to encourage more women into this fast-moving, exciting career.
In an attempt to diversify their workforce, many logistics companies offer incentives to attract and retain women, but there are barriers to entry into some areas of logistics.
Recruitment professional Sarah Hutchinson says the biggest limitation in this male-dominated industry is a lack of understanding and belief that women are physically capable of performing job requirements.
“I’ve been in the recruitment industry for years and have worked with a few logistics companies.
“I believe the reason there are so few women in the transport and logistics industries is that it is a predominantly male industry.
“A lot of people in management are filled with people who are promoted from the warehouse staff.
“I have found a major problem is that many managers underestimate the strength of women and say, ‘Oh, she won’t be able to lift the 25kgs we require,’ but they don’t actually give them the chance,” said Ms Hutchinson.
Benefits of a Logistics Career
For the trailblazing women who have overcome gender bias, the benefits of working in logistics are worth the fight.
“These industries are always in demand and busy and because of this, the work options are varied and unabundant.
“The benefits of working within the logistics and transport industries is that the hours are flexible because most of these businesses operate 24 hours a day.”
A Woman in Logistics
Marie Badin, Operations Manager for ParcelPoint, says her career in logistics has given her the chance to experience working overseas for a diverse range of companies.
“I love the fact that my roles make an impact on the business and that not one day is the same.
“It also offered me the opportunity to work and live abroad and this is a great and enjoyable experience.”
According to Ms Badin, the benefits of a logistics career are plenty:
- It’s a constantly evolving environment
- The competition, there’s loads of it, which keeps you on your toes
- Growth opportunities are huge
- Consistent innovation within the sector
- You get to positively impact the end customer
- You get to connect and work with different departments
- You work with internal and external parties which makes things interesting and varied
- It’s high pressure and fast-moving and that’s fun!
- It’s never boring
Ms Badin encourages woman to explore a logistics career because the opportunities are endless.
“Just try it. I didn’t know it was the right career path for me until I followed it.
“The opportunities are huge, and you really do have the keys to make an impact on so many people.”
Gender Diversity in Logistics
Tim James, Managing Director of Hays Recruitment, says Australia’s logistics industry can be broken up into four areas: freight forwarding, warehousing, supply chain and transport.
“Warehousing has the lowest rate of gender diversity, with a predominately male workforce.
“Most people begin their warehousing career as a pick packer, which is a role that traditionally has attracted few female candidates. From pick packer, people can progress their career and ultimately reach leadership roles.
“Transport also sees a low level of gender diversity.
“In contrast, there are more women in manufacturing production roles and quality control.
“We also see more women in head office and supply chain roles, particularly roles in planning, inventory, forecasting or sales.
“These roles are less manually intensive and require a qualified candidate who can implement a strategy to achieve cost savings,” says Mr James.
“Within freight forwarding, the gender balance is more even,” says Mr James.
What Needs to Change?
Woman are drastically under-represented in the logistics industry. According to the Australian Logistics Council, women account for just 21.9 per cent of the workforce and a mere one in 10 are Chief Executive Officers.
Sadly, despite the growth in employment of 28 per cent from 2002-2012, the number of women in the industry only increased by 1 per cent.
In terms of what needs to change, the industry could begin by addressing the inbuilt and often hidden elements in the culture of the logistics market that do not support diversity, says Mr James.
“A perception in warehousing that women aren’t physically strong enough for the manual requirements of the job is one.
“Organisations need to drive cultural change in support of diversity too. This requires the support of both human resources and CEOs.
“This is no quick or easy task, but unless the business culture is supportive of attracting, recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce, reality will fall short of diversity ambitions.”
Education is Key to a Diverse Workforce.
The industry should also promote to employers the business case for diversity, which has been corroborated through both research and experience, explains Mr James.
“This enables businesses and hiring managers to understand the benefits a diverse workforce brings.
“In addition, employers could undertake an unconscious bias testing and education program within their workforce.
“Hiring managers should be educated too – starting with a diverse shortlist is the key to diversifying a workforce since unconscious bias is often present before interviews even take place.
“Training hiring managers to recruit based on set criteria is also important, as is showing them how to recognise the value of differences.
“People managers should also receive training on discrimination laws, how to promote inclusiveness within their team, and what is appropriate and not appropriate behaviour in the workplace.
“Finally, accountability is essential. This is one thing that all organisations that are known for diversity have in common – their regular monitoring and reporting of diversity progress.”
Do You Want to Diversify Your Workplace?
If you’re a manager wanting to diversify your workplace, Workplace Diversity for Managers is an online professional development course that will give you the skills and knowledge required to review, implement, manage and provide training in workplace diversity for an organisation.
Are You Interested in a Logistics Career?
If you’d like to pursue a career in logistics, discover the many online professional development courses to get you there faster!
International freight forwarders are key players in the movement of cargo into and out of Australia. If you’re ready to start your career in international freight forwarding, this course is ideal.
This online professional development course will prepare you for a career in an innovative and fast-paced industry where change is always around the corner.
Are you looking to expand your business into the international market? Or are you starting an import-export business? Whether you’re aspiring to work for an international trade company or expand your own business, this online course will give you a comprehensive understanding of import-export logistics.
Launch your career in logistics with this online course, designed to prepare you for a dynamic, interesting and highly flexible profession with strong career prospects.
This online professional development course will provide you with a thorough understanding of the methodologies, strategies and key areas of logistics, inventory and supply chain management.
Road freight transport can be a hazardous occupation, making work health and safety skills and knowledge a key priority for employees and management in this industry.
This online professional development course will provide you with the skills and knowledge required to organise road transport to support organisational operations.
This online professional development course will help you to adapt to changes in the workplace by offering you the flexibility to choose the subjects that best meet your professional development needs and career goals.
If you work in warehouse operations or own a business, this course is excellent professional development for you.
This online professional development program will provide you with the skills and knowledge required to organise warehouse records and operations in accordance with workplace requirements.
Why Choose Australian Online Courses?
We pride ourselves on delivering the highest quality professional development online courses in Australia to boost your career prospects in any industry.
Our unique eLearning platform allows you to study around life, work and family commitments from the comfort of home, or anywhere that suits your learning, at your own pace.
So, what are you waiting for? If you’re serious about taking your career to the next level, enrol in a flexible, online professional development course today.