Women Winning in Logistics - Parcel Monitor
It’s a man’s, man’s world. That’s probably what a lot of people think about the logistics industry.
Women in logistics can be a rare find. Most of them who happen to be in the industry are largely found in more administrative roles such as finance or human resources. Among the list of top 100 logistics companies in Germany, only 18.6% of them have a woman on the management level. Although women make up a relatively small proportion of logistics leaders at the moment, we believe that this number will grow as more organizations today seek to improve diversity.
In celebration of International Women’s Day, we asked several top women leaders in logistics to share some advice for those seeking to start a career in a male-dominated field like theirs. Let’s hear what they have to say!
#1 Isabelle Baumann, VP Connected Network, Zalando SE
With expertise in digitization, supply chain operations, and business development, Isabelle has helped to build up organizations with sustainability in mind. She has over 18 years of experience working in the logistics industry with some of the top companies including H&M, PostNord, and Arla Foods.
Her advice: “Firstly, learn about logistics by taking on a role where you build your skillset. Don’t be afraid of making side steps to build a broad base of knowledge, this will be beneficial further on in your career. Secondly, Keep your integrity high and stand your ground. This builds respect and trust. Lastly, learn about yourself. It is difficult to lead other people if you don’t know yourself. Self-knowledge and understanding the dynamics between people are key to navigating your way through different situations.”
#2 Nicole Tretwer, VP BD Integrated Logistics APAC, Kuehne+Nagel
Nicole is a supply chain expert who is extremely result-driven and solutions-oriented. She has 16+ years of experience in a range of managerial positions with companies such as SWAROVSKI and Schenker China. In her current role as the Vice President — Business Development Asia Pacific at Kuehne+Nagel, Nicole enjoys bringing supply chains to the 21st century and delivering a delightful experience to her customers. Having spent the last 12 years living and working in Asia, she also understands what it means to be a consumer in this region.
Her words: “Often you will be the only woman in the room, do not be afraid to stand out! Put yourself out there and ask for more responsibility. You will bring a different viewpoint to the table, don’t underestimate the value. Embrace it, be proud of it, and encourage other females to make their way into the industry. And – a supportive boss goes a long way – make sure you have one!”
#3 Dana von der Heide, Founder and Chief Commercial Officer, Parcel Perform
Dana is the Founder and Chief Commercial Officer of Parcel Perform, the leading delivery experience platform that executes more than 100 million parcel updates daily and integrates with over 800+ carriers globally. Before her Parcel Perform days, the German-born entrepreneur and e-commerce logistics enthusiast gained her industry knowledge while being in global strategy and regional business development roles for international logistics companies in Europe and Asia.
Her advice: “I encourage you to find the right mentors and role models to help you achieve your career goals. Let your mentor keep you honest on your development and find someone to promote you and put you forward as a recommendation, especially when it’s important to avoid a gender bias. And in turn, be that same role model and always pay it forward.”
#4 Claire (Muir) Prance, Commercial Director – Fulfilment and Contract Logistics, SEKO Logistics
Claire is the Commercial Director for warehousing, distribution, and e-fulfillment at SEKO Logistics. Prior to this, she worked in management and purchasing at The Body Shop, Arcadia Group, and Oasis Stores. She also has experience in sourcing and sales with a variety of retailers, including a large fashion and accessory supplier.
According to Claire, SEKO Logistics takes great strides towards having more women in the logistics industry. In fact, her department has more women than men that she sometimes forgets about being in a sector dominated by men.
Her view:“I believe there is a rewarding logistics career available to any woman. The issue is to promote awareness of our varied and important industry.”
#5 Gloria Marzari, Transportation Supervisor at Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company
Gloria has over six years of experience in logistics project management in Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company. Over the years, she has been involved in production planning, inventory management, driving operational efficiency, and supply chain strategy implementation.
In Gloria’s view, attention to detail and empathy towards people are key to excelling in the supply chain. Attention to detail, for one, is essential due to the complexity of the systems that companies have to deal with. Empathy, on the other hand, is vital when meeting people of different backgrounds and educational levels; putting oneself in another’s shoes can help to establish a respectful relationship with the other party.
Her advice: “In your career, sooner or later, you will run into someone who will make you feel inappropriate: too angry, too ambitious, too submissive, too sensitive. Sometimes, since you are a woman. Don’t waste your energy after them. Look incessantly for what you love and what intrigues you, and if you are stopping to learn, change your point of view without caring too much about what you have left behind.”
The March Forward
There is no denying that women have made significant progress in the supply chain and logistics fields over the years. According to the World Economic Forum, increasing the number of women in the workforce could actually result in an increase in productivity and growth of organizations. Moving forward, we can only hope that more women will enter the field, especially with such inspirational leaders in hindsight.
What does the future hold for the women in logistics? Who will make up the next generation of logistics leadership? We cannot wait to find out!
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