Women can cross borders to a career in logistics


As the industry that has made globalisation possible, transport should reflect the world around us, but it is only relatively recently that the sector's diversity has begun to extend to the male/female mix. Making further progress takes continuous commitment.

Samskip's target of greater inclusivity for women is a company-wide aspiration that we believe will bring a net benefit to our organisation. After all, there is strong business case for gender neutrality in employment and promotion. In a study of 506 U.S. based businesses, each 1% increase in the rate of gender diversi​ty resulted in an approximately 3% increase in sales revenues (American Sociological Association).

Besides, Samskip sees greater diversity as key to working together to overcome common challenges.  That's why we are always seeking to recruit the best talent, irrespective of gender.

But we recognize that transport is also, by tradition, considered a male environment. That's why we believe it's worth repeating, once, twice, or however many times it takes, that Samskip is an equal opportunities employer.

That entails:

  • Equal skills mean equal chances for hiring and promotion;
  • Equal talent means an equal chance for ideas to be listened to;
  • Equal performance is equally recognised.

We want more women in the logistics workplace because we want our employees, male and female alike, to work in an environment where their experiences, outlooks and passions contribute to Samskip as a whole as the best logistics company in the business.

‘We employ and promote talented people, in an inclusive way, encouraging excellence not exclusion,' according to HR Director Elaine Pelisson of the multinational transportation company Samskip. ‘I want to change women's perception of logistics, because I believe transport is all about diversity, when it comes to communication, relationship management and problem-solving.

‘For example, I work in the Netherlands, but my first virtual meeting can be with someone in China, because over there it's already end of the business day. After that, I could be making a call to yet another continent, and I can be speaking in English or in Dutch at different times in the day. I have to take not only different locations, but different cultures and ways of looking at things into consideration.'

Logistics is also a business where no two days are the same, Pelisson adds. ‘Due to bad weather, a vessel might arrive late, creating a backlog of containers, which need to get to their destination as soon as possible. If that happens, clients need clear information quickly and, wherever they are, they need a cooperative approach that lets them know they are being listened to.'

Whatever the challenges, the logistics sector is always results-oriented. Manager Marketing Communication, Eva Rademaker-de Leeuw, comments: 'The sector works with small margins.  The container needs to get from ‘a- to b' on time and a logistics professional needs to think in terms of solutions. A hands-on mentality is key. If you possess these qualities, and you can hold your own, logistics is a fun sector to work in.'

In global logistics, clients come in all different shapes and sizes, and by definition can be located anywhere. Women certainly shouldn't be intimidated by the reputation of logistics as a ‘man's world', says Rademaker-de Leeuw.  ‘Sure there's a lot of tough talk, but it's just talk that's developed to get things done. As a matter of fact, I haven't found the logistics world intimidating at all. Women add to the mix when it comes to achieving collective goals.' 

Contrary to received wisdom, there are plenty of interesting positions in logistics for women.  Are you interested in a career in logistics? There are many opportunities for women at Samskip. Pay us a visit and get to know us! For more information, go to: 

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