Women don’t see logistics as a top job choice

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

Supply chain jobs are not seen as attractive to professional women in Canada.

A new study has found that only 19 percent of professional women said they would consider leadership opportunities in the transportation and logistics industry. In the same survey 61 percent said that since the onset of the pandemic, they either actively pursued or thought about a career change.

The second-annual FedEx Express Canada women in transportation and logistics survey of 1,060 Canadian professional women, conducted among Angus Reid Forum members, found that employers in Canada’s transportation and logistics have much work to do to encourage more women to be a part of their industry.

“Whether delivering personal protective equipment, e-commerce purchases, and the Covid-19 vaccines, the transportation and logistics sector has been instrumental in helping Canadians manage and recover from the impacts brought about by the pandemic,” said Lisa Lisson, president of FedEx Express Canada.

“Knowing our importance to Canada’s economic health, women need to play a greater role in our industry. As Canada begins to rebuild and as we, as an industry, evolve to meet the growing needs of our customers, we need more women to be a part of what will ultimately enable Canadian businesses of all sizes to prosper and grow.”

International trade, healthcare, e-commerce, and innovation rely on a healthy and vibrant transportation and logistics sector. According to StatsCan, 989,900 Canadians were employed in transportation and warehousing in 2021, increasing by almost 40,000 people compared to 2020. However women make up only 23.3 percent of the workforce.

Old boys’ club

Prospective employers should take note as the survey revealed factors critical to women choosing new employment opportunities. This includes addressing perceptions of the transportation and logistics sector. For example, 55 percent of respondents consider Canada’s transportation industry an “old boys’ club” and not necessarily welcoming to women.

One critical element to increase the appeal to women to join the transportation and logistics sector is seeing other women in leadership roles. Almost 60 percent of survey respondents said the presence of women leaders and women executives could likely impact their decision to pursue a career opportunity with a particular company or industry.

At the same time, 81 percent of these women felt that female leadership shows that women are taken seriously in a company or organization.

Further, the survey pointed to work-life balance, compensation, and job satisfaction as the top-three most important factors women look for in employment opportunities. With work-life balance a priority, many women are looking for jobs close to home or those that provide an opportunity to work remotely.

“A successful business strives to build a team that is reflective of its customers. Since our inception, FedEx has placed tremendous emphasis on culture, inclusion, and diversity,” said Lisson.

“It’s up to everyone—of all genders—in the industry—to help #breakthebias. We can do this by creating greater understanding of what we do and encouraging women of every background and profession to see themselves in these critical roles.”

The survey was conducted online from February 10 to 14, 2022, with a representative sample of 1,060  Canadian women between the ages of 18 and 60 who currently work or intend to work in the future. The survey was conducted in English and French. The sample frame was balanced and weighted on age, province and education.