Gender diversity vital to enhance skilling in logistics

More career opportunities in logistics industry means skilling and training in specialized areas is a must as the job roles are getting specialised. Women pilots attired in a smart pilot uniform walking along with their male counterparts is not an uncommon sight anymore.

Globally, the proportion of women in the logistics workforce has increased from 8 per cent in 2010 to 20 per cent in 2018, with India seeing approximately 15 per cent female representation. So, there is still a requirement for increased women participation in logistics and spreading awareness is all our responsibilities.

As far as I see, women are becoming more visible in so many fields that were traditionally male dominated. Now, the sight of women pilots attired in a smart pilot uniform striding along with their male counterparts is not uncommon. I was on a personal visit to the Northeast and staying at the Assam Rifles Cantonment and to my pleasant surprise, I was told that they have started to recruit rifle women! Women as scientists, truck drivers and women in the boardroom are not a strange sight at all.

The logistics industry has diversified from being just transportation, catering to blue collared job roles with harsh and inadequate working conditions, an ever-existing gender parity due to the nature of work is now becoming a highly specialised industry with various verticals that encompass e-commerce, freight forwarding, warehousing, port operations, cargo terminal operations and railways among others.

Introduction of technology, automation and integration of complex processes, and the degenderisation of roles are playing a crucial role in changing the industry and its requirements.

The writing on the wall is that this industry needs and is steering towards numerous career opportunities, which in turn means skilling and training in specialized areas is a must as the job roles are getting very specialised. Also, as India aspires  to become a `5 trillion economy, there are developments and new ways of doing businesses, encouraging freshers and job seekers as making a conscious choice for working in logistics. It should not be left as a last career choice, when the other popular careers are out of reach.My focus in this article will be mainly the role women can play in logistics industry. The first move towards that will be branding of logistics as a preferred career option. Employment in logistics industry should be at par or even better placed then the more preferred career choices.

I personally feel women working in logistics are the role models that others should emulate. It is for them to go out, speak to students, speak to girls and propagate about careers in logistics. They should also speak about the changed working conditions, and career opportunities in various fields such sales, strategising, leading teams, opportunities in finance, Information Technology and customer service that are waiting and available. They could also mentor freshers and speak about their journey and remove biases and cultural mindsets that could be a hindrance.

It is recommended organisations should sensitise employees, and impart training on POSH, having an active committee, and Code of Conduct. Many organisations have started to offer longer maternity leaves, improved infrastructure and flexible working hours for female employees.

Look forward to more participation from women!

Alpana Chaturvedi
CEO, My Logistics Gurukul