The spotlight has been recently shone on gender diversity across UK businesses, with senior staff reassessing the imbalances in their boardrooms and across the pay scale. With house-hold names such as the BBC publishing the salaries of its top talent, and now Tesco actively confirming they are considering more and more females for their senior level roles, the focus has now turned to the public sector, where the RAF has recently announced that women can now undertake close combat roles for the first time in its history.
And yet, we find that the logistics industry is consistently falling behind. The sector is believed to only have 10% of women working at board level, and female participation across the industry currently run between 20% and 30%. Why?
Melanie Hall, Vice President of Life Sciences at DHL Supply Chain, points out:
“Logistics permeates every industry and business sector in the world – retail, life sciences, fashion, technology, construction, transport and so on”.
With this level of societal impact and the incredible job-role diversity involved why have women not been better represented in an industry currently employing some 1.5M people in the UK alone?
Industry wide research such as that done by the UK Commission on Employment and Skills, highlights the need to make the logistics industry more attractive to women as a long-term career choice. Melanie believes the key is not only attracting a more diverse workforce but importantly then ensuring “a focus on hiring women in positions where they have visibility to inspire and encourage other women into the industry” with many senior female members of staff acting as important role models for more junior members, and then going on to assist in the recruitment of more females into the business.
PWC in their Transport & Logistics 2030 report add an interesting dimension;
“Attracting more women to the male-dominated transportation and logistics sector won’t be easy, but companies that succeed will have access to a rich new labour pool”.
However, it should not stop at simply hiring more women. The industry will only be able to attract and retain talented females by promoting the opportunities available to them, and providing the flexible arrangements to those that may require them. There has historically been a poor understanding of the career opportunities available to women within logistics and supply chain, and the types of work that roles may involve. But, in an ever-changing supply chain, new roles are emerging from the shop floor to the C-Suite, which are consequently driving the need for an enriched and enlarged set of skills. This may only be made possible with alternative ways of thinking and the acceptance of these new approaches.
As experts in logistics recruitment, supply chain recruitment and procurement recruitment, the Bis Henderson team believes we will see a steady increase in gender diversity over the next ten years. Our association with The Novus Trust has proven the level of interest from young people looking to join the Logistics industry is growing and we’re already seeing the ratio of female to male job application candidates changing as the industry begins to catch up and realise the creative and cultural benefits to a more balanced workplace.
Contact us now to see how we can assist you in ensuring a diverse recruitment process for your procurement, logistics or supply chain roles.