Have a seat, men! Women in the logistics industry

Significantly fewer women work in the logistics industry than men. In most companies, the proportion of women is below the 40 percent mark. The female share in management circles is also negligible. The share here is less than ten percent. These are the results of a group survey among selected companies of the Bundesvereinigung Logistik.

High shelves, trucks, heavy transport, muscle jobs, rough speech – for a long time, this stereotype has been consolidated and prevented women from planning their careers in this industry. Until now! For a few years, the number of employees has increased, tentatively, but steadily. The main pillar is training as a female merchant of forwarding and logistics services. In this area, young women already occupy a third of the age groups. More and more female academics are also opting for a logistics degree program. Basically, there is a growing interest in jobs in the administrative sector. Only a few women work as warehouse logistics specialists or warehouse specialists yet. But even here you can see a rising trend.

Companies take care of new working time models

The female presence is slowly becoming visible in an industry that is growing inexorably. A few years ago still an unaccomplished field, today more and more companies take care of family friendliness, flexible working hours and work-life balance and signal the desire to profit in the future from the stronger sex. Rightly so: the industry has been waiting far too long to take advantage of the added value of female competence.

Empathy and communication skills

Occupational psychologists and coaches agree: women often approach challenges from a different angle than men and can contribute to faster problem solving. Thus, the ladies of creation are associated with typically feminine qualities such as communication skills and empathy. Coupled with high professional qualifications and an understanding of economics or engineering science, the growing proportion of women in a sector perceived as a “male world” could make for a refreshing appearance and help the sector, which is considered conservative, to gain a new, younger image.

The problem of skills shortages is neither male nor female

And logistics companies have to communicate this in their employer campaigns as well: Any woman who is enthusiastic about a career in Germany’s third largest industry has excellent future prospects. The business sector offers many attractive job profiles, an extremely wide range of tasks and versatile career opportunities. No other industry reports so many vacancies. Exciting jobs are waiting in science, technology, in commercial areas or in IT. Digitization is changing occupational fields increasingly and at a rapid pace. The requirements are ever more specific, the departments are becoming more and more networked, and the handling of customers is becoming ever more complex and sensitive. Logistics is facing immense challenges and needs more than ever competent staff. Because the problem of skills shortages is neither male nor female.

Without women, the logistics industry will not work in the future. So, as logistics companies, we must set the course to make women’s entry and career in the industry as easy as possible. Flexible working hours, child care, family friendliness, active presentation on job and career fairs, internal support programs – chin up, men! In the War for Talents, women could become a powerful weapon.

Yeliz Kavak-Küstner

Head of Marketing, PR & New Business at Pfenning Logistics, one of the leading contract and trade logistics companies in Germany. Since 2012, the graduate linguist and cultural scientist has implemented numerous measures to realign the logistics company, including an employer branding campaign for truck drivers and the positioning of a logistics center according to the DGNB platinum standard. The first logistics station in her marketing career was the GEODIS company. For GEODIS Germany she set up marketing communication as a separate department.

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