I joined Nestlé in 2002 and have worked in various roles within Logistics and Customer Service. Throughout my working life, my career has very much centred around Transport and Warehousing, having found a passion for Logistics when I worked in an administration role on a traffic desk as a teenager. In my current role as Head of Delivery, we work as a team to provide a transport solution to support all the Nestlé businesses across the UK and Ireland.
Why are balanced teams better for the business? Why does it matter?
Gender balance is critical to the success of a business. Having worked in a logistics environment for all of my working life, I have seen first-hand the change from being the only female in what was deemed to be a male sector, to a far more inclusive working environment. This has opened up a significant talent pipeline, introduced a more holistic conversation and resulted in broader considerations when decision-making. Equally, flexible working has continued to move forward and proven to be a benefit for everyone regardless of gender, helping us attract and retain talented individuals in our business. Personally, I no longer feel like I have to ‘shout to have a voice’ in my sector. The Logistics Leadership Team is now far more diverse than it was a few years ago and my own team has an improving gender balance. There is still much to do and it’s important that we continue to drive this topic and keep the conversation going. Research has proven that a diverse team brings greater creativity, innovation and productivity. Who wouldn’t want that for their business?”
What do you feel we need to do more of to create more of a balance in our organisation?
We’re doing some great things, but within Logistics there’s still a lot we can improve. As an industry, we need to actively encourage more diversity. We’re having some great conversations internally, but need to drive this externally. We had a great family fun day last summer to introduce the next generation to Logistics, showcasing several articulated vehicles and holding a treasure hunt in the warehouse.
In our operational roles within both warehousing and transport, the candidates that apply for vacancies are predominately male. We need to find a way to make our vacancies more appealing to a diverse group. We have some great part time/flexible roles available but we’re not reaching a broad candidate group. Our Supply Chain and Commercial Apprenticeships are helping us to encourage more diversity and help everyone understand what a great career you can have in Logistics, and we’re planning to introduce a Driver Apprenticeship in 2020. We need to continue this great work and also take every opportunity to share the message, through schools, higher education and beyond.
What can leaders do personally make a difference so all our people feel valued and included?
Listen! Get to know your teams, everyone is an individual, never forget this. The workplace is a major part of our lives and we all have different needs at different times, relating to both work and home life. My team have supported me as much as I have tried to support them. It’s a relationship, we all need each other to make it work. Be curious, as the diversity in our workforce increases, Line Managers may need to step outside of their comfort zone to gain a greater understanding of unfamiliar cultures to ensure everyone in their team feels included.