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Pall-Ex Challenges Industry To Do More For Women in Logistics

The CEO of Leicestershire-based Pall-Ex Group is calling on the logistics industry to create more career opportunities for women and support their professional development in a heavily male-dominated sector. Women make up just 15% of the logistics workforce, 20% of transport sector staff and only 3% of HGV drivers, highlighting a need for greater diversity across the industry.

 

Speaking on International Women’s Day, the theme of which for 2024 is ‘Inspire Inclusion’, Pall-Ex Group CEO Kevin Buchanan believes industry leaders can do better. This means not only hiring more women, but also creating a more inclusive working environment and offering employee benefits that can help women succeed.

 

Women standing on stairs

Kevin explains: “At Pall-Ex Group, we recognise that having a diverse workforce is at the heart of our success. Our employees benefit from flexible working hours, with 10% of our female staff working part-time hours, allowing them to balance a career with family responsibilities. We also have a thorough induction programme to support employees returning from parental leave, as well as a fair and inclusive pay scheme.”

 

With a workforce of 16% women, which reflects the industry average, Kevin acknowledges that Pall-Ex Group can also do more to encourage women to consider a rewarding career in logistics, which has inspired the launch of new development programmes.

 

Kevin continues: “We want our workforce to be even more diverse and inclusive. With that in mind, we’re launching our LEAP Future development programmes that allow the local community to train in logistics roles. This will enable us to grow our own talent from the community across LGV, FLT, Transport Office, Sales and Leadership roles, while providing valuable job opportunities to local people, including those from typically under-represented groups.”

 

Improving inclusivity starts at a young age, when female students might not consider a career in logistics because of stereotypes about the sector. Samantha Moiroux-White, Corporate Customer Service Manager at Pall-Ex Group, says: “Before joining the industry, I had a preconceived idea about it. I imagined an industry that was drawn to the past, dingy and cold transport offices, and for most of the decisions to be made by men who have worked in logistics for over 20 years.”

 

Since starting her career, Samantha has realised that it’s a sector where ideas and innovation are encouraged and achievements are celebrated. She wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a logistics career to other women: “It’s important for women within the industry to share their real experiences, challenge preconceptions, and spread the word about the benefits and opportunities available.”

 

Lauren Pullin, Head of Commercial Analytics for Pall-Ex Group, echoes this sentiment: “It’s important for women to know that there are opportunities in logistics. Young women in particular need to know it’s a viable career. I certainly didn’t think I would be in logistics at 16 but through career fairs and collaboration with schools, colleges, and universities, maybe we can open the door for everybody.”

 

Building an inclusive and positive working environment has already helped the Group attract some of the best talent in the industry. This includes Rebecca Wayte who works as a Network Director. She comments: “Pall-Ex Group employs some of the most influential and dedicated women within the industry, from operational staff, to drivers and the Board which is 33% female. I’m thankful to be part of such a diverse company, where equal opportunity is at the core.”

 

Like Kevin, she’d like to see the sector become more inclusive, with more companies following the lead of Pall-Ex Group. “For me and other women within the Group, there are no obstacles towards success, only encouragement, and every one of us has the potential to go as far as we wish to push ourselves.”

 

Putting policies in place that benefit women, opening up more opportunities, and fostering a welcoming work culture could encourage more women to apply for roles in logistics – which will only benefit the industry and lay the foundation for a successful future. In a sector that employs over 2 million people in the UK (approximately 7% of the national workforce), closing the gender gap is long overdue.

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