Building a woman’s world: DHL’s drive for gender equality

by HRD Connect

With 440,000 employees across 220 countries, DHL is one of the world’s leading logistics companies. The company, whose UK headquarters are in Milton Keynes, has recently embarked on a concerted drive to recruit more women, both among front-line drivers and in the C-suite.

Here Lindsay Bridges, SVP HR UK&I at DHL supply chain, talks us through this campaign and what it represents.

Run the briefest of Google searches on UK logistics and you’ll quickly discover two things.

  1. The UK faces a chronic shortage of qualified drivers.
  2. The drivers that are qualified are almost exclusively men.

The first trend is slightly tricky to explain — the product of societal changes, the greater range of career choices available to today’s young people and the ‘great resignation’ of European drivers in the wake of Brexit.

But the second phenomenon? Well, that’s easy. Driving has always been a man’s job, right? The long hours, the truckstop showers, the pot noodles in motorway service stations… it’s always just seemed such a blokey world.

In fact, it’s a problem at all levels of logistics. Women make up 47% of the UK workforce, but in the transport sector the figure drops to 20%. According to research carried out by Supply Chain Management Review in 2017, just 5% of senior supply chain roles at Fortune 500 logistics companies are in female hands.

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