Igniting careers for women in Transport, Logistics and Supply Chain
Attracting and retaining women in the transport, logistics and supply chain industry has long been a challenging issue.
A new mentoring program for women in the transport and logistics industry is set to address gender imbalance in Australia and is widely supported by a range of industry associations.
It builds on a previous transport and logistics program established by the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) and managed by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Australia (CILTA) called Women Moving Forward.
“Closing the workplace gender gap is no easy task but educating women on how to become strong leaders could be the solution” says Louise Perram-Fisk, Managing Director, Emberin.
Emberin, leaders in gender diversity and mentoring use a unique product called my mentor which addresses many issues that are specific to women.
Using the my mentor product, a new mentoring venture called Ignite – Transport and Logistics Supply Chain will be held next year and is open to all women in Australia.
Coordinated by Emberin, which is made up of diversity experts who work with listed companies, industry and government bodies, the 12-week mentoring program consists of 12 modules and provides tips and advice on leadership, networking and promotion.
The program will start in February next year, with enrolments released in mid-October 2013.
The fully-administered 12-week program costs $595 and includes access to fortnightly webinars, industry guest speakers and support groups.
Its introductory kit has workbooks and DVDs that feature success stories of key women leaders.
The program has been designed to reach anyone anywhere, and does not require class attendance.
Up to two hours of study each week is recommended.
“It’s not a one-on-one relationship, but a structured mentoring development offering that can reach the masses” Perram-Fisk says.
“What we know from global research is that an organisation or an industry needs to reach critical mass for a change to be evident and significant and Ignite is able to achieve that.
“It doesn’t really matter where anyone is located, this is a product that they can work through and can attend graduations and launches if they wish to,” she adds.
“It’s great because it reaches into regional Australia - they might be the one lone woman in a freight company in WA and they’re able to do the program.”
Perram-Fisk has worked on various projects through Emberin, using the program called my mentor – Challenging women to make it happen, where more than 13,000 women have completed the course.
She has seen great changes in many participants, with 40 percent reporting increased role responsibility within the first six months since completing the course.
Louise Perram-Fisk says the transport and supply chain sector is critical to all other industries but has too few women.
Historically male-oriented, it is relatively new to women that make around 24 percent of the overall logistics workforce with smaller numbers closer to 8 percent in road freight.
However, gender diversity is firmly in the spotlight with many industry companies taking measures to address diversity, Perram-Fisk says.
“I think we in the game because we are quite aware of the issue and starting to make inroads but we still have a long way to go,” Perram-Fisk says.
“This is about businesses becoming aware that women are an important and integral part of the workforce.
“This program will be about supporting those women through a 12-week program to help equip them to push up through the ranks and to understand quite clearly what their career paths can be and how they can achieve those goals.”
The program is aimed to raise awareness of women in the workforce.
“Women always tell us their empowerment has increased and that’s not about them becoming increasingly assertive,” Perram-Fisk says.
“It’s about being clear about your goals and about your focus and what you are seeking from your career that may be function, location, flexibility; there’s a whole lot of things that go into what makes us happy at work and satisfied.
“It’s about clarifying those things and making sure women have the skills to do things like manage risks, raise their visibility, communicate and be heard well and understanding male and female differences in the workplace.
“All those things that sometimes in many cases are the things that women report can be difficult for them.”
Coming from a now fourth-generation transport family in NSW, Perram-Fisk is passionate about the industry and says she has seen many women join it.
But there is still room for improvement when it comes to mentoring, which she says is an important step in women’s careers.
She has seen women stagnate in their career because they’re reluctant to acknowledge their skills whereas men generally comfortably talk about their achievements, she adds.
“Mentoring is a critical thing and it’s something men do very well and it’s something that women can benefit from if there is a formal arrangement in place,” Perram-Fisk says.
“In Emberin Ignite – Transport, Logistics and Supply Chain we have male and female guest speakers in the program because they can present diversity of views.
“No matter what stage in the career they are this program is suitable because it’s one that will help them identify their goals.”
“At Emberin, we say our differences are our strengths,” she says.
“The same with the supply chain – the greater the diversity of our industry, the greater our strengths.
“I’m a proud gender leader with history and passion for the supply chain.
“I look forward to the day when we no longer need to talk about gender equity; that day of equality cannot come soon enough.”
For more information, contact Emberin on 1800 306 698 or Ignite@emberin.com
Ignite – Transport and Logistics Supply Chain;
- Is available to all women across the transport and logistics industry
- Includes weekly email newsletters discussing current modules
- Is aimed for women looking to develop leadership skills and improve confidence and performance in the workplace
- Encourages retention of women in businesses
- Is managed by Emberin
- Does not provide individual mentors for participants
- Provides peer mentoring groups
- Costs $595 for a 12 week program