Looking to employ more women in your supply chain business, or just want to know how to inspire other women to pursue careers in logistics? In this article, Anna Klysik, Service Delivery Manager at Balloon One shares a few ways we can support and encourage women joining the industry.
The supply chain industry, while historically male dominated, has seen vast improvements in gender equality within the last decade. In fact, the number of women employed in the supply chain industry is currently at a five year high, with female talent comprising 41% of the total workforce in 2021 (Gartner).
However, the industry is facing new challenges such as an aging workforce, transport delays, and the lingering effects of COVID-19. With these issues and more in mind, it’s important to ensure that the right talent finds its way into the industry, and that women keep pursuing supply chain careers. To do this, the industry needs to prove that careers in logistics are not only a viable option for women, but that entrepreneurship is supported too.
Below, I’ll share just a few ways that the industry can attract new female talent and encourage entrepreneurship in women.
Attracting more female entrepreneurs
One of the first steps towards attracting more businesswomen into the industry is to highlight the many different roles there are available. For example, the supply chain is always evolving, with new systems and technologies constantly being implemented. For women, this presents the opportunity to work in a range of varied, modern roles that are up to date with the latest developments, using and acquiring different skills.
It’s also an environment that encourages entrepreneurism, welcoming new ways to disrupt old processes and make improvements for the sake of efficiency and productivity. For female entrepreneurs, knowing that their contributions can make real, positive change is a big plus. You can communicate the opportunities available through your job advertisements, but also through marketing on social media channels like LinkedIn and Twitter — this is where businesswomen will be looking.
Due to the wide scope of the industry, lateral promotion is common in logistics so women may find that they have more options when it comes to career development. Flexibility is important to women and is becoming a key benefit that all talent is looking for, so a dynamic industry like logistics can be very appealing to those searching for flexible working styles and alternatives to the career ladder.
Inclusive company cultures, flexibility in working schedules, and plenty of training opportunities are what employers can look to provide to help female talent flourish.
Mentoring from other females in business
The successful improvement of female representation in the supply chain industry can have a knock-on effect on women who are looking to get into these kinds of careers now. Seeing more women represented on social media and during the hiring process can give other female applicants the confidence to apply for roles in logistics, and once they have, they can expect more support from these women through mentoring.
Mentoring is incredibly useful not only as a training tool, but also to support and encourage women in what was a considerably male-dominated environment. Having someone to learn from with skills and experience in line with their own business goals can help secure new female talent, and it may even help women stay in logistics for long term careers.
Nurturing future entrepreneurs
To ensure the future of women in logistics, it’s important that the future talent pipeline is preserved by encouraging STEM subjects from an early age. This can be achieved through school sponsorships, hosting talks and lectures, and offering tours. Research by the IFS has demonstrated that girls who enjoy maths and science at school are less likely to continue studying these subjects as they get older, so getting involved in education may help inspire them to keep it up.
Companies can also look towards attracting grassroots talent through apprenticeships for school leavers and graduates. While this is a common way for many young men to enter the industry, it’s important to encourage young women to apply too. This can help ensure they have the opportunity to develop their skills in supply chain logistics early in their careers, instead of trying to join the industry later in life.
There are many reasons why female entrepreneurs searching for a rewarding and supportive industry to work in should look towards the supply chain to develop their careers. The tips in this guide can help companies in logistics work out what they need to do to attract, maintain, and nurture the female talent pipeline.