Gender equality in logistics: are we there yet?
Gender equality in logistics: are we there yet?
3 March 2023 - by: FERCAM

Gender equality in logistics: are we there yet?

Is transport and logistics still a male-dominated industry? Statistics suggest that while some perceive it this way, the sector is slowly closing the gender gap. To continue on the path of equity, it is necessary to intervene at a cultural level, building a new, more truthful image for our profession

Gender equality in logistics

The presence of women in the logistics sector is still limited today, but the data suggests a stable increase. On average, in 2018, around 22% of workers in the sector in the EU were women. In 2022, this percentage has reached 30%. The gap still seems far from being bridged, but the trend is progressively increasing, thanks to business realities that are contributing to the construction of a new image for our professional sector, raising the flag of values such as inclusivity and gender equality. In fact, having a diversified workforce within an organization has become essential for the success of companies.

Why is the female employment rate still too low in the logistics sector?

It is believed that the logistics sector requires "men-like" characteristics to operate, namely the need to have predominantly male physical qualities, such as great physical strength. These mistaken beliefs are deterrents for women's job applications and are often spread among selection teams, thereby causing companies to lose the opportunity to gain valuable resources and talent in their workforce. Furthermore, forms of protection for women are, in reality, nothing more than reasons for unjustified exclusion. New standard technologies integrated into both warehouses and various vehicles used for logistics and transportation simplify and automate their use, making them manoeuvrable by people of any gender and physical form.

Fortunately, there are many other equally crucial operational components, such as travel and transportation planning, customer service, customs management, and service promotion or sales, which are managing to close the gender gap in the sector, with more than 40% of women working in these areas. These positions require, in addition to purely technical skills, many other qualities that are simply impossible to attribute to one gender over the other, such as listening and organizational skills, empathy and communication, patience and stress management, or language skills, to name just a few.

At FERCAM, a trend reversal is fully underway

FERCAM is one of the companies in the logistics and transportation sector where the percentage of female personnel has progressively increased over the years, which has allowed us to further narrow the disparity that characterized the widespread trend of the past. Recognizing gender diversity as an enrichment, we are committed to ensuring equity and inclusivity in every company context.

At FERCAM, women represent a solid presence, namely 42% of the total composition of employees, even surpassing the male threshold by two percentage points if we consider the 18-30 age group. Departments with a strong female presence include Personnel Research and Selection, Training, Marketing and Tender Management, Administration, and Budget. There are also particular professional niches, such as our Fine Art Business Unit, where the prevalence of female figures has been a constant for several years. Even in terms of recruitment, the response from outside is very good: there are more and more women who present their applications, even for roles of an operational or technical nature.