Women, who have historically been underrepresented in the logistics industry, are now taking center stage. In 2022, women accounted for 19% of C-level positions in the average supply chain organization, up from 15% in 2021. Successfully recruiting women, advancing them into leadership roles, and retaining them in supply chain positions are now considered essential components of an organization’s strategy.
We are not just discussing traditional administrative roles here; the new generation of women employees who have been joining FedEx in increasing numbers over the past few years has proved that their fresh perspective can enhance all parts of supply chain operations. From package sorting and courier duties to truck driving and ground operations management, there is literally nothing a woman cannot accomplish!
On March 8, we celebrate International Women’s Day; a day dedicated to promoting gender parity and female empowerment. This is also an excellent opportunity to learn more about some of the amazing women who work at FedEx and get inspired by their personal stories.
Becoming a pilot takes a great deal of determination – it’s not something that happens overnight. First Officer and Pilot Stefanie Lee recalls that it wasn’t always easy. At the same time as climbing the career ladder, Stefanie was also trying to balance being a mother.
“In my career, I faced several challenges from those who thought I couldn’t be a single mother and still fly. I pushed through those barriers – and am happy to say I’ve now been flying for 19 years, seven of those with FedEx and the military.”
While Stefanie acknowledges gender and other biases may exist, she feels proud to work for FedEx, flying 777s.
“FedEx values and respects the contribution of all employees – including women – in the field of aviation.”
Her advice to women who would like to follow in her footsteps: “Let your performance speak for itself. It’s the best way to combat biases anyone may have. Be your best self. Treat people with dignity and respect.”
As a Senior Manager Ground Operations and Road Network at FedEx, Sophie Hoult motivates, leads, and inspires to make sure that day-to-day operations run safely and successfully. This is vital to ensure FedEx delivers the best service possible to its customers.
Being part of the FedEx family for nearly five years, Sophie didn’t face any major challenges in the logistic industry: “I believe this speaks highly of FedEx as an employer, where performance and adaptability are more important than gender.”
Sophie believes that FedEx is a fantastic place for career development: “I have been fortunate to be promoted twice and move across different departments. The available tuition assistance, online courses, and the business leaders’ vision to foster employee development and promote from within have provided me with an environment that is conducive to my professional and personal growth.”
Her advice to the next generation of women entering the workforce: “Find yourself a coach. A colleague, a friend, or a relative. Someone who can see your strengths and will provide you with confidence when you are feeling self-doubt or disbelief.”
Farrah Fayo has been with FedEx for nearly two years. Even though ground courier is a male-dominated role that requires lifting boxes and driving a van, Farrah was determined: “I told myself that if other women can do it, I can do it as well.” Her family only cared that she was employed in a safe environment.
FedEx is a great place to work, according to Farrah: “When it comes to gender equality, everyone is treated fairly.” She also appreciates the assistance of her coworkers: “Working as a courier is a tough job, but my team is always there to support me.”
Aspirations for the future
Farrah is looking forward to becoming a part of the Service Agents team. “The fact that FedEx is a long-term career employer makes me hopeful that I will be able to spend the rest of my working life here.”
Zainab Matovu joined FedEx about a year ago. Like Farrah, Zainab works as a courier in Dubai. Her passion for her job helped her overcome any obstacles she encountered: “I rise up every morning with optimism to face the challenges of the day, and I find work to be easy and fun. It’s always a pleasure to interact with different customers and put a smile on their faces.”
Zainab believes FedEx provides an abundance of growth opportunities: “There is no gender bias in FedEx’ career opportunities. The company’s internal training development courses have been invaluable in advancing my career.”
As someone who enjoys driving, Zainab wanted to experience the sensation of operating large delivery vans. And she succeeded! If you are a woman considering a career in logistics, Zainab’s words will motivate you: “Let’s challenge the stereotypes that have traditionally associated this profession with men. Only by growing the number of women who embrace opportunities and challenges in the industry will this be possible. In return, we will gain esteem and the reversal of stereotypes about women.”
Inspiring change towards gender equality
Despite the progress made in recent years, gender equality in the workplace remains a global challenge. In some parts of the world, women continue to face gender discrimination, as well as salary disparities. Many women experience bias not only due to their gender, but also because of their ethnicity, possibly a disability, or other aspects of their identity.
The most important outcomes of our gender equality efforts have been the equal opportunities created for all our team members to grow and advance their careers. While we strive to accelerate progress and set an example, we continue to look for ways to break new ground. Businesses – not only in the logistics sector – that prioritize gender equality initiatives, will be better prepared to meet the challenges of a world that is constantly changing.