Today (March 8th) marks International Women’s Day, when it is important to recognise the vital role that women play in various industries and spheres of life around the world. Here at Minatus, this is an extra special day for us. This is because we are ‘Powered by Women’, with 85% of our workforce being women, including our Managing Director and all three of our Heads of Department.
In the UK, only 19% of workers in the Logistics business are women, even though 73% of women are in work. Minatus is thus a rare company within our sector where the majority of our staff are women. This is beneficial for us in several ways:
- It allows us to get more points of view when tackling problems, as women can see problems and solutions from a different angle to men sometimes.
- It creates a safe and pleasant working environment for our staff. This allows us to attract talented women to our business, where they may feel safer and more welcomed than at other employers that are more male-dominated.
- It helps us to create positive change within society, employing more women on equal salaries to men and encouraging greater female participation in our industry.
There has been very little research into the effect of women in the logistics industry, but it seems likely that their impact in our industry is as great as it has been in other industries. The findings of research by the Center for Creative Leadership show that there are myriad benefits to having women leaders like Minatus does, as seen in the graphic below.
Of course, our work isn’t done. While Minatus offers equal opportunity and pay, it is equally important to continue to offer support for women in logistics outside those spheres. As McKinsey consultants has found, several other factors and desires are important to the next generation of women who might help us to shape the logistics sector, including:
- Clear communication of plans and guidelines for flexible working. Having clear-cut plans and hard guidelines for flexible working allows women to separate their working lives from their private lives. Thus, having firmly set-up working and communication hours is important to women who value the ability to plan their private lives knowing work won’t interfere.
- Gathering feedback from employees. This allows companies to respond to specific worker issues and thus engender trust and loyalty between senior management and the staff. Implementing this in a non-judgemental and anonymous way is also important to ensure worker participation.
- Invest in employee connectedness. It is important to foster a safe work environment where everyone gets along. One way of doing this is to encourage employees to chat and get to know each other. This might involve encouraging watercooler-style breaks where workers can have a quick chat, or even funding team-bonding exercises. This also involves encouraging employee participation via video-call for those doing remote work, so they are not left out in the cold.
- Make sure the playing field is level. Make sure managers give everyone equal opportunities to prove themselves, especially those who may be quieter and unwilling to put themselves forward. Working to individuals’ strengths and encouraging them to flourish in their own way helps increase employee happiness and can help find diamonds in the rough for further development within the business.
All if the above ideas don’t just apply to women, but, when put in place, can help foster the safe and understanding business environment that many women (and indeed men) coming into the workplace want. Minatus is constantly working to achieve these aims, and, by celebrating International Women’s Day this year, we hope to show a possible direction for other companies in our sector to encourage female participation and management.