Monday, May 20, 2013

Freight Group Praises everywoman Transport & Logistics Awards Winners

Progress for the Employment of Women in the Shipping Sector is Still Too Slow - But Where Does the Fault Lie?
Shipping News Feature

UK – Last week saw the winners of the Freight Transport Association (FTA) everywoman in Transport & Logistics Awards announced at a ceremony held at London's iconic Savoy Hotel. As title partner for the Awards, the FTA has supported everywoman and its initiatives since 2008, including the everywoman in Transport and Logistics Leadership Academy and the FTA everywoman Accelerate Programme. Now in its sixth year, the Awards celebrate women working within the transport and logistics industry who are enjoying success and who will ultimately inspire others to join the sector.

The ceremony was attended by leading figures from the logistics sector along with representatives from the media, business and government, including a keynote address by Stephen Hammond MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport. The Awards programme for women in transport and logistics was an opportunity to celebrate the female role models who have demonstrated remarkable success, whether in senior management positions, as drivers, or young trailblazers in the early stages of a promising career.

The winners in the FTA everywoman in Transport & Logistics Awards for 2013 are:

Woman of the Year – sponsored by FTA – Jacqui Gavaghan, Performance Director, Reading Transport Limited

Rising Star of the Year Award – sponsored by Motor Transport – Charlotte Laval, Supplier Performance Service Manager, Wincanton plc from Chippenham

Driver of the Year Award – sponsored by TNT – Shauni O'Neill, Train Operator, London Underground Ltd

Director of the Year Award – sponsored by Asda Stores Ltd – Lindsay Haselhurst, Development & Marketing Director, Wincanton plc from Chippenham

The Warehousing Award – sponsored by UKWA – Adele Waite, General Manager - Consumer Life Science Division, DHL Supply Chain from Banbury

Industry Champion Award – sponsored by DHL Supply Chain – Ruth Waring FCILT, Managing Director, Labyrinth Logistics Consulting Ltd from Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

Innovation & Sustainability Award – sponsored by DHL Supply Chain – Danielle Kozlowska, Process Improvement Manager, Stanley Black & Decker from Northampton

Team Leader of the Year Award – sponsored by MAN Truck & Bus – Marion Roberts, Station Manager, Network Rail from London

In addition, in recognition of her commitment to championing the role of women in the industry, Nikki King OBE, Managing Director of Izuzu Truck (UK) was presented with the inaugural Spirit of everywoman Award. Theo de Pencier, FTA Chief Executive said:

"FTA is exceptionally proud to be the Title Partner of the 2013 everywoman in Transport and Logistics Awards. Women are an essential part of every aspect of supply chains, from drivers and warehouse staff to transport managers and managing directors. Industry cannot be passive in attracting women, and the FTA everywoman in Transport & Logistics Awards are the perfect opportunity to showcase how women can make a career in transport a successful and fulfilling one, which is why FTA is delighted to support this event. FTA is leading by example through the high proportion of female specialists and managers it employs and women also hold key positions in our management team."

Maxine Benson MBE, co-founder of everywoman, added that the transport and logistics industry in the UK is vast and there are so many opportunities for women with the determination, enthusiasm and passion to succeed, she continued:

“With transport and logistics becoming an ever-evolving, fast moving, technology-driven industry offering long-term, sustainable careers, it is critical that the women playing an influencing role in shaping and leading this sector should be celebrated. Today's winners, boasting a varied skills-set, are examples of this - resourceful, pioneering and innovative women who represent the very essence of what makes the industry great. We are proud to be able to celebrate their achievements and are confident their success will inspire women of all ages, experience and skill levels to bring their talents to the industry."

The Transport & Logistics Awards were created by everywoman who identified that there was a need to raise the profile of women in the transport and logistics industry. The goal of the Awards is to reach out to a younger talent pool, crucial to the economic success of an industry that has a disproportionately ageing workforce. The winners will help to raise the awareness of job seekers that the industry is fast-paced, diverse, challenging and satisfying.

Unfortunately much still needs to be done to change the situation with regard to the proportion of women working in the industry and the expansion of roles which they can fill. An excellent example of this is encapsulated by a recent experience at London’s newest container port, London Gateway, which is actively recruiting at the moment.

When interviews were held recently for various positions the amount of women who applied was totally disproportionate but, as an equal opportunity employer, DP World which is developing the project, told us of their concern at the reluctance of many applicants to switch from a stereotypical perception of what women are capable of in the workplace.

Only five from fifty women applicants would consider training for what might be termed a previously unconventional role. The ongoing assessment identified one applicant who showed exceptional flair on the simulator which assesses and identifies potential operators for the UK’s largest quay cranes, a beautician from Basildon, who will be the first woman to fill the role at the port.

Whereas in past years, and to some extent even today, it has been the traditional attitude of companies in the transport sector which has discriminated against women, it may be that now there still exists a hard core of potential female talent which is not coming forward at a time when opportunities to commit to previously exclusively male jobs are on the increase.

Photo: Jacqui Gavaghan, winner of the everywoman award for Woman of the Year.