In the UK, women on average are still earning less than their male counterparts. The subject of gender diversity is frequently reported in the news, and senior staff of businesses in every sector can be found to be reassessing these imbalances in their boardrooms and across the pay-scale. Recent data released by the World Economic Forum reports that globally, women are earning less than men by a significant amount and they predict that the gender pay gap will not be closed until the year 2234.
The UK supply chain and logistics industries are currently unrepresented by women, with only 10% working at board level, and female participation across the industry low compared to men. Women clearly need to be better represented but the challenge is appealing to that talent, and this requires both the right communication and education about the opportunities that exist, to ensure that the sector is attractive to women as a long-term career choice.
Once in a role, research suggests that women tend to promote more women to senior roles than men. As such, one of the steps organisations can take to fix the imbalance sustainably is to ensure it has strong female role models that will develop more junior women.
Optimising all talent, especially one that is seen to have such a correlation on increasing returns, should surely be a priority for any organisation. However, it is easier said than done.
Historically the view / understanding of the career paths available to women within the logistics and supply chain industry have not been clear, so while being unrepresented anyway it’s no wonder there has been a prolonged shortage of females who have chosen this route if the opportunities available to them are not understood.
With an ever-changing supply chain however and new roles being created, the requirements of female workers will need to be further recognised to help new approaches and ultimately an enriched and enlarged set of skills available.
Whilst the issue of gender equality will ultimately not disappear overnight, with developments in technology and better communication with potential employees, the industry should see its male to female workforce ratio start to improve.