Twenty years ago the landscape looked very different for women in logistics. All areas of business within this arena were typically very male orientated. Today however, 40% of graduates within logistics are female, showing that there is a strong movement towards a balanced workforce. To further encourage more women to build their careers in the supply chain it’s important that we showcase the great possibilities careers in this area present.
There are now so many more roles available, roles that go beyond the factory floor. The door is open to become involved with any area throughout the supply chain, from within the sourcing teams and warehouse distribution to behind the scenes utilising software and pushing products through the critical path. Prospects have also never been better for those working within this industry, historically men have dominated the managerial roles, but this is no longer the case. Gartner recently reported in its 2018 Women in Supply Chain survey that women accounted for 37% of the total supply chain workforce and 20% of the vice presidents and senior directors, not to mention the middle management levels in between.
Part of the problem is the poor levels of visibility of women currently working within the sector. Women who are already working in the industry have a key part to play in closing the gender gap. They need to go to that conference, attend that networking event and interact with the people that are there. It is crucial for women to understand how important their presence is and, most importantly, how they can help to champion other women.
Employers also need to help their employees take a stand. Driving progress shouldn’t just be internally focused, encouraging women to take the time to network and represent their companies at events will only benefit both parties. This supportive culture will help retain current team members and attract new ones, whilst also bringing additional knowledge back into the wider team.
Working within the supply chain presents a lot of opportunities for individuals looking for a dynamic career path. The gender imbalance is starting to level out, but to continue to make progress in this area, the stigma attached to careers in the industry needs to be addressed. It’s one thing to tell individuals about the benefits of this sector, but they also need to be shown. Addressing the current gender gap is a team effort and if everyone fights the battle then the industry will prosper.