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According to an SCM World study, 37% of students enrolled in a supply chain program were women. Despite this, women only make up 6.8% of Fortune 500 supply chain executives.

It isn’t just management where women’s representation is lacking. For example, when looking at truckers on the road today, 92% are men, making trucking one of the most heavily male-dominated careers in the U.S.

Evidence is mounting for the benefits of equal gender representation at all levels of a company. It impacts everything, including company culture, ability to retain top talent, and even a company’s bottom line.

Why is our industry still having trouble attracting and retaining female talent?

Experts believe it’s partially because women aren’t given the same advancement opportunity as their male counterparts. Similarly, men have traditionally been expected to do more manual labor while women work behind the scenes. This limits available opportunities that could lead to advancement.

Emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and robotics, have automated many roles, making logistics a competitive and cutting-edge sector. For women interested in STEM fields, there has never been a better time to consider a career in this industry.

How We Can All Make a Difference

In many male-dominated industries, there is a modern trend toward management focusing on diversity and inclusion. Developing, promoting and sponsoring women gives hiring managers a larger candidate pool to pick from. This strong and diverse talent pipeline helps a company’s overall development while also fueling women’s progress.

In addition to supporting career progression, companies should promote a work/life balance for all employees, which would minimize the struggle for any employees trying to juggle family responsibilities with a full-time job. Any claims of harassment or bias should also be taken seriously and properly addressed.

While it is vital to encourage women in logistics, we need to be conscious of seeing this as a matter of meeting a quota. Of course, the most qualified candidate should always be chosen for a job or promotion, but that also means a woman should not be overlooked solely because of her gender.  

We also need to focus on younger generations. By getting more young women interested in the logistics industry and instilling confidence in them to pursue it as a viable career option, we’re opening a new world of possibilities that can benefit supply chain for decades to come.

Gender equality in logistics is all about knocking down existing barriers and recognizing the beneficial skills women can bring to a male-dominated industry. As a whole, the logistics industry has a long way to go, but steps are being taken that show promise for the future.