Although work equality has come a long way over the years, sexism is sadly still rife in certain industries. The logistics sector is one in particular which still has a male-dominant workforce; yet there are plenty of women who would fit perfectly into the many roles of the industry.
Here, we’ll look at why more women are needed within logistics and what can be done to encourage a more diverse workforce.
Fewer than a quarter of logistics employees are female
There are approximately 1.5 million people working within the UK’s logistics field. The UK Commissions for Employment and Skills has revealed that fewer than a quarter of these employees within the logistics industry are female.
That’s a huge gap compared to other industries. Women are often assumed to simply not have the right skills for the industry. However, while they may struggle with the more physical side of the industry, there’s plenty of other positions women would actually excel within.
Take mothers and wives for example. They often have exceptional time-management skills, a high level of focus and they have excellent attention to detail. All three of these qualities would prove invaluable within certain logistics roles. It’s easy to forget that logistics is far more than just moving and driving products around.
In this digital age, speed has become a particularly vital factor that logistics companies need to pay attention to. Customers expect to receive their goods quickly, which means the delivery process, as well as the picking, sorting and packing processes, need to be carried out faster than ever before. So, a woman’s time management and attention to detail skills could prove extremely beneficial.
Why are women deterred from following a logistics role?
One of the main reasons women are deterred from applying for logistics based roles is because of poor perceptions. There’s not a lot of information provided about the diversity of logistics roles. Instead, the perception is that logistics is all about lifting and moving.
However, logistics are required by a huge range of different types of businesses. It’s so much more than manual labour. There are customer facing personnel roles, as well as business development roles women would be well suited to.
The fact the industry is so male dominated can also be off-putting. There has been an increase in the number of women applying for driving based roles, particularly with top courier companies such as TNT. However, this is largely because it doesn’t involve spending a lot of time in a male-dominated environment. Women drivers are largely on their own throughout the day, so it’s not surprising it’s one of the areas of logistics they feel more comfortable working in.
It’s also one area which could really use more women. A lot of people feel more comfortable having a female delivery driver so companies could capitalise on this; especially in such a delivery-driven society. Online shopping has really taken off, leading to a surge in delivery based jobs.
The truth is, men and women do have different skillsets. When you combine those skillsets, you have a more effective and efficient workforce. So, the logistics industry could be dramatically improved if more women were brought in.
Overall, logistics companies do need to start taking more steps to encourage women to apply for roles. Education also needs to be provided in schools regarding the varied roles that are available. From managerial and customer service roles, to warehouse and distribution centre roles; there’s something to suit all women in logistics. There’s even networking events, help and support available for women working within the industry, so those who are worried they’ll be left behind in a male dominant workplace, support and advice is available.