International Womens Day on 8th March, supported by the United Nations, is a good time to reflect on the progress of women in the Logistics sector in the UK.
Women account for just 22% of the logistics workforce in England, compared with 46% in other sectors and they hold fewer than 10% of the managerial roles in Logistics 1. With the sector offering many rewarding and challenging careers, suitable for both men and women, there is no logical explanation for this imbalance. To encourage more women into the sector a new networking group Women in Logistics (UK), has been formed, with the aim of promoting the interests of women in the Logistics sector and providing networking opportunities.
The group held its first face-to-face meeting in January, which was attended by 19 members; since then the group has increased to around 81 members and is rapidly growing. The group is currently organised around the LinkedIn professional networking web site (www.linkedin.com). Members come from all areas of the professions including public transport, road haulage, supply chain and logistics consulting, IT, HR, retail, manufacturing, third party, executive search and Logistics Management. It is organised on a purely voluntary basis and is free to join.
Objectives include offering support and mentoring for younger professionals, advice and encouragement to those entering the industry, providing personal development and support for members through planned activities and networking and - to have fun. Our aim is to increase the number of women in the sector and to address the gender imbalance issue. Women in Logistics (UK) have already gained recognition from the following industry organisations: Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport UK, Freight Transport Association, Road Haulage Association and the UK Warehousing Association.
During 2009 the group plans to increase membership and awareness and to hold a further 3 events to include visits with a female slant. Women in Logistics (UK) are actively recruiting new members from all areas and levels of the sector and are also encouraging male participation in the group. We are also actively seeking hosts and sponsorship for events.