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Wheels Fall Off The Talent Pipeline

Wheels Fall Off The Talent Pipeline

Now we’re well into the 21st century it’s assumed that progressive employers are fully aware of the need to foster a diverse and inclusive workforce and the benefits that this brings. Any firms that fail to realise this are unlikely to see their business survive into the foreseeable future.

The numbers speak for themselves. As gender researchers Catalyst has shown: companies who embrace diversity and have a representative number of women as part of their leadership team, see an average of 40% greater return on sales, and over 50% greater return on equity.

Unfortunately, while awareness is growing, and the will is there, the infrastructure and processes required to develop women leaders in the logistics sector are sadly lacking. The pipeline needed to educate and deploy a diverse workforce is far from adequate effectively stifling the supply of female talent to work in the supply chain industry.

Image Problems

In 2018, Gartner published a report showing that only 14% of ‘C-level’ executives are female despite women making up 37% of the total supply chain workforce. Of those, only 25% of women are senior managers or directors. It begs the question as to why.

It seems part of the issue comes down to the industry’s image as an unattractive place to develop a career. As Leigh Anderson, Managing Director at Bis Henderson recruitment comments:

“The reason many people don’t want to join the logistics industry is down to the widely held perception of an austere working environment, around trucks and sheds. Unfortunately, companies in the sector are not seen as having a forward-thinking culture; they are not perceived as great places to work and are not viewed as welcoming.”

This image problem extends into the education sector where widely held perceptions from parents and teachers are that a career as a driver or picker is not one they’d encourage for a young person thinking about their future. Such thinking effectively stifles the logistics talent pipeline at its inception.

The Pace Of Change

Part of the solution is better education. As the supply chain evolves by the increased use of automation, the roles required in the sector will change. There will be a greater need for planners, strategists and IT professionals to manage the fast-paced logistics sector of tomorrow.

Organisations like NOVUS are working hard to get this message across and even offer a degree in supply chain management that includes a guaranteed job on graduation. It’s encouraging that 46% of the students on these courses are female.

Another critical aspect to encouraging greater diversity in the logistics sector is outreach work from successful female leaders already working in the industry. It’s an idea confirmed by a recent study undertaken by KPMG showing that 86% of women who see examples of successful female leaders help to fuel their ambitions to get into senior supply chain roles.

This a complicated situation that will need a concerted effort from schools, colleges and industry to make a sustainable impact and develop a truly diverse talent pipeline for the supply chain industry.

It’s hoped the work of organisations like NOVUS and industry role models will help to turn the situation around soon.

Embracing Diversity

As an employer who encourages employee diversity, the findings of Catalyst, NOVUS and KPMG are concerning to the Truckcraft team. The logistics sector is set for massive growth. And coupled with the introduction of new technologies, it means the industry will need talent from all areas of society to ensure continued growth and success.

It’s hoped the initiatives outlined will be successful in developing a diverse pipeline that promotes the logistics sector as one that offers a host of exciting and dynamic career opportunities.

If you’d like to come along and meet our diverse team and see our range of trucks or vans, please contact the Truckcraft Bodies sales team on 0161 304 9404.

Published: Mar 09

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