Women in Logistics  

In today’s international logistics environment, labour force ready to adapt to accelerated changes, new demands and unanticipated challenges, are required. Innovation is the key to succeed in any environment.

There has been a vast change in the definition of Career Development over the past few decades. A career plan is derived as per the interests, passions, and abilities followed by a person to shape their future. Skills and knowledge should be accessible to people to maintain and understand the present fast- paced environment.

Why should women work in logistics?

Various scientific studies have demonstrated that gender diversification in factory floor encourages collaboration, understanding and tolerance along with improving competitiveness, productivity and corporate social responsibility.

The discrimination against women in the labour force is still an open topic for debate, affecting economic sectors and levels of responsibility. Logistics sector which is affiliated to physical work was considered a masculine sector, has seen a large gender depiction indicating a drift in progress/ improvement.

Physical works related to machine operators and storage technicians are still male dominated but in areas such as service and administrative positions are basically dominated by women.

Modern technologies like automation and robotics have enabled the entry of women seeking this industry. Logistics and transport is gaining popularity as main source of employment as online sales market has developed at an amazing pace.

Should women take the chance and add themselves into Logistics for a shot at professional development?  Without any apprehension.  It is easy to provide gender equality in this industry while accessing jobs to both men and women with the advancement of modern technologies and rapid developments

Role of women in the logistics and transportation sector

The latest figure shows that Logistics and transportation are playing major role in economic restoration. The boom in ecommerce and international transactions over internet, mainly the parcel service, has shown a growing rate of over 20%.  In spite of all these there is a vast gap of difference to the number of women to men. In 2015 around 46.8% women were in the US labour force, but on the US Transportation & Utilities sector only 22.6% were women.

As per the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, Logistics and Transportation is one of the industry after manufacturing to employ largest number of women. An increase of 3.6% was registered in the year 2016 from 2006.

Companies have introduced flexible working hours, professional counselling and measures to avoid seniority, constituting adequate solutions to deal with complications originating due to the imbalance in work- life, thus conveying the prospect  of permanence and professional advancement of women in this sector.

Training sessions are offered to women related to logistics sectors and also to technology and R&D, thus help opportunities for women. Commencing such a revolution will lead to equal employment between men and women.

Why the future of logistics needs more women?

Women are performing better in the industries which were once monopolized by men, from finance to retails, construction of logistics- lot more to be done.

The business case for gender equality

‘De-genderised’ businesses always performs better as varied perspectives leading to revised decision making is brought in.

Along with gender equality being a fundamental human right, it also shows a country’s total economic performance. The prestige of an organisation improves when there is a gender equality and this attracts talent and maintain employees.

The time has come for the logistics and supply chain industry to take measures to bring in more women to this profession.

More than moving and lifting

The obstinate perception about logistic profession that it’s about moving and lifting, or physical work done by men is changing, thus showing that this is the best time for women to enter the field.

The rise of ecommerce like Amazon, Flipkart etc., have put Logistics into limelight and the focus on trade. Emergence of technologies like robotics and artificial intelligence have transformed logistics into a cutting edge and competitive sector.

Supply chain and logistics has penetrated deep into every business and industry in the world, be it retail, fashion, transport, and technology and so on. The pure significance of this industry has created jobs in branches like Business Development, Customer Services, information technology and sales; jobs like forklift drivers and warehouse workers too have joined the list.

The industry needs people who have leadership quality, excellent knowledge of business management and high aptitude in mathematics, regardless of gender. The industry needs more of problem- solvers and people who can bring innovative ideas to propel it forward.

Contest the trend

The industry has to accept that diversity in a workplace is very noteworthy.

By promoting women to senior roles and posts once adorned by or considered to be for men should be the first step in accepting diversity.

As second step, talented women must be encouraged and cultivate a culture where accomplished people incline. Few companies are bringing in change to encourage women by creating working hour flexibility, day care centres and initiatives to balance work- life. Professional development of women already in the profession should also be focused on, by providing access to education, training and mentoring opportunities.

As for women, it’s essential that they come out of their comfort zone and have the will to strive in men dominated environment. A woman should not be limited to their gender but should focus on the qualities that can be brought on and take pride on the role played. By working together a woman can support and empower each other. It is better to work together with men as collective partnership.

Gender diversity in the workforce cannot be ignored as it could pose a business risk. India along with other countries is on the verge of logistics revolution thus ensuring that women are equally represented in the workforce.