Impact of Women in Logistics this International Women's Day

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International Women's Day (IWD) is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, marked annually on March 8th. It serves as a call to action for accelerating gender parity and empowering women across all spheres of life. This day's significance lies in its history, which dates back to the early 20th century, evolving from the labour movements in North America and Europe to become a focal point in the global struggle for women's rights and gender equality.

In the traditionally male-dominated logistics industry, the narrative has been gradually changing, reflecting a broader shift towards gender diversity and inclusion. Historically, logistics has been perceived as a sector requiring physical labour and extensive fieldwork, inadvertently creating barriers to women's participation. 

However, this perception is undergoing a significant transformation, thanks to technological advancements, evolving industry needs, and a growing recognition of the importance of gender diversity in the workplace.

The evolution of women's roles in the logistics industry 

The logistics industry has witnessed a notable evolution, with women entering the field in greater numbers. According to an article by Women Entrepreneur India, until 2010, women formed only 8% of the logistics workforce globally, with factors such as erratic work hours, harsh working conditions, and preconceived notions about gender roles actively discouraging women from entering the field and the industry from pursuing more women. But by 2018, the female workforce in the global logistics workforce increased to 20%.

India has also made remarkable improvement, with the number increasing to almost 15%. This shift not only highlights an increasing openness to gender diversity but also underscores the fact that women are no longer confined to basic roles. They are taking up more challenging roles and even stepping into leadership positions within the logistics sector, driving forward the industry's growth and innovation with their contributions.

Women are breaking the glass ceiling and challenging the status quo. This shift is evidence of the changing dynamics of the industry, where gender diversity is increasingly seen as a driver of innovation, efficiency, and competitiveness.

Overcoming challenges achieving gender equality in India 

Overcoming challenges in achieving gender equality in India requires a nuanced understanding of the progress made and the hurdles that remain. According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2023 published by the World Economic Forum, Europe has he highest gender parity of all regions at 76.3%. In contrast, Southern Asia, which includes India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, has achieved a gender parity score of 63.4%. 

There is still a long way to go and women in India still face preconceived notions and barriers that stem from the industry's traditionally male-dominated culture. These include gender bias, limited access to networking opportunities, and a lack of family-friendly workplace policies. To address these challenges, the industry is adopting various strategies to actively promote gender equality through organisational culture and practices. 

DHL India’s Initiatives

DHL India stands out for its commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace, emphasising the core values of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB). As a company powered by people, DEIB is a foundational principle that goes to the heart of everything DHL Group does. By actively promoting DEIB, DHL India is dedicated to developing the best workforce, driving innovation, and enabling its people so that everyone can make a meaningful difference with their contributions. 

At DHL India, a range of policies and initiatives have been implemented to support and empower women, including flexible work arrangements, parental leave policies, and diversity and inclusion training programmes. These efforts are part of the organization’s broader strategy to create a gender-balanced workforce grounded in the belief that diversity drives innovation and excellence.

Through continuous efforts to create an inclusive and equitable workplace, DHL India ensures that each individual can thrive and be their authentic self every day, thereby not only enhancing its organisational culture but also setting a benchmark for the industry at large. 

Empowering women in logistics with DHL Express

As we celebrate International Women's Day, it's crucial to recognise the progress made towards gender equality in India, highlighting our pivotal role in this advancement. Here at DHL Express, our commitment to gender diversity, ethical business practices, and support for women in the workplace are not just smart strategies for driving innovation and competitiveness; they are foundational to social progress. Our efforts extend beyond fostering an inclusive workplace, significantly impacting the support and empowerment of female entrepreneurs, marking commendable strides in the evolving landscape of gender equality within the industry.

By providing access to global markets, offering specialised services tailored to small and medium-sized enterprises, and facilitating networking opportunities, DHL Express has empowered women entrepreneurs to expand their businesses internationally. This initiative is pivotal in an industry that has seen limited female participation, especially in leadership roles and ground operations. Our commitment extends to employing more women in these critical areas, thereby fostering an environment of inclusivity and diversity. 

DHL is challenging the status quo by actively recruiting women into the following positions:

  • Service centre managers: In this role, women oversee the operations of DHL's service centre, requiring a blend of leadership, strategic planning, and operational efficiency.
  • Supervisors and team lead: In supervisory and team lead positions, women are taking the helm of ground operations teams, guiding daily logistics activities, and ensuring operational excellence.
  • Couriers: DHL has also made strides in employing women in courier roles, positions traditionally held by men. Women couriers are at the forefront of DHL's delivery operations, ensuring timely and safe package delivery to customers. This role is critical in showcasing the company's commitment to gender diversity, even in the most visible and customer-facing aspects of its business.

This approach not only supports women's growth in the logistics sector but also enriches the industry with diverse perspectives, driving innovation and competitiveness.

Looking ahead, the future for women in logistics appears promising, with ongoing trends indicating further growth and opportunities for female participation and leadership. Companies like DHL Express play a pivotal role in this transformation by fostering an inclusive environment where gender diversity is not just encouraged but celebrated.