Wednesday, January 14, 2015

You Have Until 2 February to Name Your Favourite Women in Transport and Logistics

Annual everywoman Award Nominations Get Off to an Auspicious Start
Shipping News Feature

UK – Rarely can the launch of an awards nomination ceremony have been seen in such an auspicious setting than was seen on the banks of the Thames last night when the FTA everywoman in Transport and Logistics Awards got under way in no less a setting than the Houses of Parliament. The event is now in its eighth year and was kick started this year by Mary Macleod MP under the watchful eye of sponsors ASDA and DHL and lead sponsor the Freight Transport Association.

More than 100 women (and men) met in the House of Commons Terrace Pavilion to garner the first nominations for the seven categories which aim to reinvent the position of the ‘fairer sex’ within an industry which employs 10% of the UK workforce, yet only 22-25% of which are women. This situation largely derives from an industry image that is woefully out of date and which everywoman is aggressively trying to change.

Categories in this year’s Awards range from Driver of the Year through Leader, Team Leader, ‘Rising Star’ and Industry Champion to the Warehousing Award and Innovation and Sustainability, and nominations (which can be made here) will be open until 2 February 2015. The Winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on 3 June 2015 at the London Hilton on Park Lane and tickets for this sell out event can be purchased here.

Welcoming those attending MP Mary Macleod thanked everywoman for raising such an important agenda, thanked the three sponsors and said the government wanted to see women achieving their potential. She said how important the transport and logistics sector was to the economy and that sharing stories through the Awards could inspire young women and was the way forward. She felt that this could be an exciting time for female participants in the industry.

Speaking at the event Jill Clark, Asda’s Senior Director-People, explained how the company’s association with the Awards had brought changes with a Leadership Programme launched in 2013 designed to break the glass ceiling. Encouraging first year participants to mentor and educate subsequent groups creates a ‘virtuous loop’ which had reduced female staff turnover and increased the number of women in management roles from 12 to 20%.

Last year’s Woman for the Year and DHL Site Manager, Jane Curl-Carter said she found it humbling to be seen as a role model and told how the DHL Women’s Network had assisted in managerial development and went on to say:

“Winning the Award has enhanced my profile, resulting in recognition from my company, receiving many invitations to forums, events and functions where I have met some amazing and inspirational people – both male and female. However what wasn’t expected were the compliments and recognition I received from both my customers and my suppliers, which is not only a positive for me but a positive for my organisation.”

James Hookham, Managing Director, Policy and Communications of the lead sponsor, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) commented:

“Sadly the logistics sector suffers from poor perceptions of career opportunities which has led to a debate about skills gaps and the lack of gender diversity. It’s hard to escape the impression that the roles primarily include moving and lifting and therefore that means man’s work. Too many women have preconceived ideas of what the industry can offer and see the sector as off limits."

Photo: Attendees at the event had to pass through the magnificent St Stephens Hall as well as Westminster Hall (pictured)