Nearly 1.5 million people work in transport and logistics in the UK. However, women globally fill less than 20% of executive level positions within this industry.
Melanie Hall, Vice president of life sciences at DHL Supply Chain, spoke to the Guardian about her experiences of being a woman in the logistics industry: “As a woman you have to earn respect and recognition in order to break down many of the barriers women face in this industry.”
In 2013, as little as 0.5% of women made up for all of HGV drivers. Now, it’s an estimated 2%. While this is still a small number, it proves that women are more open into starting a career in the logistics industry than ever before!
Melanie Hall continues on to discuss some of the challenges she faced while working as a HGV driver: “As a woman working in the sector, a few of my experiences have highlighted this: health and safety gear being produced in large sizes; I’ve felt that having shorter hair would make for easier compliance; and I’ve had to manage plenty of quick changes out of tights and into socks and steel-toed boots. These are small things, but considerations that sometimes make wardrobe decisions longer in the morning. I won’t opt to wear a skirt or dress on the days I know I’m in the warehouse.”
womeninlogistics.org.uk is a website used by women in the transport industry to connect with other like-minded women, and to gain advice and inspiration. The charity runs various different events to help raise money, including The Conference and Awards Ball, and on top of that they aim to run 3-4 smaller regional events each year. Charities like this are really important for helping women. Especially when they earn a whopping 20% less than their male counterparts for the same position, says morailogstics.com.
Melanie Hall finished off the interview by adding, “Those considering the move into logistics should focus on building their own brand – it’s the best way to ensure you’re accepted in the role for your abilities. I’ve been guilty of looking at a role of thinking ‘what can’t I do?’ but it’s important to focus on what you can bring to your role that’s currently missing.”