Transportation and logistics have always been the backbone of trade, enabling the movement of goods and resources wherever they are needed. The intensification of trade in recent years has accelerated the demand for transport and logistics services which lead to a significant increase in business and employment opportunities in the sector.
Despite the relatively easy set up of a freight forwarding business and the strong growth in career opportunities in transport and logistics, the sector, which is traditionally male-dominated, remains slow in attracting and engaging women among its workforce.
There is a misrepresentation of women in executive business roles, especially within the field of supply chain management. The number of women in manufacturing is the lowest since 1971, while men hold 75-80 percent of jobs in the supply chain sectors. Even if more women are getting into the supply chain with the present stereotypes, such as education, gender, hiring, etc., male will still dominate the sector with a percentage of 75 percent. How can we encourage more women to enter the industry?
See also: Why You Should Hire More Women in the Supply Chain Industry?
What can women bring to logistics and supply chain sectors?
A report by MMH on Women in Manufacturing showed that the introduction of new technologies within the sector, be it in process management or goods management where automation and robotics are required, should reduce the entry barriers for women seeking to set foot in the logistics and supply chain industry. This is especially true as the logistics and transport sector slowly gains traction in becoming one of the main sources of employment. Women, seeking a new professional career path, should also take this chance to inject themselves into the sector for a shot at professional development.
The report also cited that women are as capable as men in fulfilling and executing technical or professional requirements to excel and be successful in managing and running logistics companies. Women are better negotiators, have the ability to multitask, and are more detail-oriented at work as well as ‘easier to approach customers’. These traits make women more suitable and should be considered within the sector.
How can women in logistics and supply chains succeed?
A KPMG report revealed that women in logistics need to focus at least on three key areas in order to achieve higher ranks. Managers and leaders can also help women in the role by empowering them to socialise leadership early in life, model leadership, and build confidence through role models and networking. Managers and leaders can also provide or enhance corporate development programs in order to move successful women forward.
KPMG goes on identifying the specific area’s corporations which include:
- Identify and develop high-performing women who aspire to lead
- Provide the kind of individual feedback that reinforces and builds confidence and high-performance
- Build empowered and effective networks with express role of generating opportunities for women’s leadership growth
- Actively give qualified women leadership opportunities
- Put in place challenging and aspirational career paths for women at work
It is also important to keep in mind that diverse perspectives and experiences offer a strategic advantage at the leadership level. Training and enhancing women’s ability to generate collaboration, effective communication, and respect are also qualities needed to successfully create leadership skills.
Read also: Logistics and Supply Chain Jobs are Vulnerable to Automation