Women in Logistics: 5 Tips to Succeed in our Industry

I joined the logistics industry more than 35 years ago. It only took me three months of my first job within the industry to know that this is what I wanted to do. Back then, the industry was a lot different from today. For one thing, the industry was strongly male dominated. Many women struggled to find a meaningful role in logistics.

Luckily, that’s changing. In fact, now 51% of all C.H. Robinson employees and 33% of company leaders are female.

When I first started my career, I learned many lessons that helped me succeed over the years. And many of these learnings are still relevant for the women I mentor today. For women who want to succeed in logistics today, here are my top tips:

1. Embrace learning new things

Part of what got me hooked on supply chains was how much I was able to learn in such a short period. And even after all this time, I’m still learning every day. We work in a fast-paced, constantly evolving industry that never gets dull.

2. Believe in yourself when opportunities come along

Today, I’m a General Manager, but when I started, I was a receptionist. When I transitioned to an air freight manager, I had a comprehensive understanding of the industry and what our teams experienced day-to-day. Yet the idea of taking a huge leap into a new role was daunting. While I took a lot of advice about the role change from more experienced people, ultimately, I had to trust myself to succeed.

3. Find a mentor to support you

From my role as an air freight manager, I became an operations manager, which was another big step forward. In that role, I was responsible for both air and ocean freight. Adding ocean services to my responsibilities meant learning a lot of new terminology, transit details, and process changes from what I was used to with air freight.

So, I worked closely with our general manager to observe what a senior management position entailed. He offered amazing support, guidance, and direction that makes supporting my teams easier. Over the years, I’ve found the role of a quality mentor is quite priceless. Without support and input from people on my senior leadership team throughout my career, I’m not sure I would have reached my current position as general manager.

4. Get involved in the causes you care about

Whether you’re interested in giving back to your community or want to get involved in employee resource groups (ERGs), finding meaningful connections will bring out the best version of yourself. The company and industry you work for should support your authentic self through gender-neutral policies like paid parental leave for both men and women. Best of all, if you’re a passionate individual like myself, you will certainly benefit when working for a company that shares your values on diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI).

5. Choose a company that recognizes your value

When seeking a great company to work for, look at how they treat their employees—including the benefits offered. Every day, I strive to make sure my employees bring their best selves to work and find ways to help them develop into the best they can be. And I’m proud to say the company I work for has the same goal.

At C.H. Robinson, people are so much more than a number or a statistic. The wide range of health and wellbeing policies proves that. C.H. Robinson also supports the mental health of employees through the employee assistance program, which offers free and confidential support for a variety of mental health issues and topics. 

Remember: The future is bright

It’s an exciting time to be building supply chains. So, jump into more challenging roles, use new experiences to grow and find out where you belong.

Interested in joining our team? Join our talent community for job alerts that match your interests.

Kim Wilson
General Manager, Victoria/South Australia
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