Despite the male dominance within the logistics sector, there are still several women, both currently and in history, who have made a huge mark on the logistics sector. Today we’d like to celebrate those women and tell the world about their achievements. We have selected five women today, but there are many, many more!
Judy R. McReynolds
Judy McReynolds has been working in logistics for over 30 years. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 1985, she worked her way up through the sector to become the CEO of ArcBest in 2018.
Her leadership has led to a shift in strategy from ArcBest, which pivoted to face the expanding role of shipping and logistics solution in modern supply chains. Thanks to this pivot, and her own hard work, McReynolds increased ArcBest’s stock price to record levels in 2018, and continues to lead the company to this day. She has been listed for and won several industry awards, and serves as a great example of how women can make a huge impact in our sector.
Edwina is notable for blazing a trail for black women within our industry. The first black female locomotive engineer in the US, she worked from 1976, often over 12-hour shifts, to keep the trains of America functional and thus to keep supply lines running. Despite facing daily prejudice, both on account of her race and gender, she kept striving to prove what was possible for the thousands of women who have followed in her illustrious footsteps.
She retired in 1998 and moved to Omaha with her husband. She has been the subject of a museum exhibition at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum, and serves as a striking example of diversity and female power within the logistics sector.
Francesca DeBiase is the Chief Global Supply Chain Officer for McDonalds. This involves managing and preparing one of the world’s largest and most diverse supply chains. She has worked for McDonalds in a variety of roles for over 30 years. In her current role, she managed the Covid-19 crisis without supply chain problems, despite the fact that McDonalds has to supply 37000 restaurants across over 100 countries.
In addition to her role within the logistics sector, she has also held roles in finance and serves on the boards of 5 different companies, showing the value of women from different work backgrounds to our industry.
While these remarkable women have all made huge waves in our sector, women as a whole are still sadly underrepresented, both at a management and shop floor level. Addressing this imbalance helps businesses find amazing talent, and foster a more diverse and skilled work environment. In our ever-changing world, this diversity of thought and action can be vital, and so empowering women needs to be at the heart of the logistics world going forward.