The Growing Role of Women in the Logistics Industry

Sep 28, 2023International Logistics, Supply Chain Management

With its ever-increasing complexity and demands for agility and flexibility, the logistics industry has seen a remarkable transformation in recent years. One of the most notable changes has been the increasing importance of women in pivotal roles within the field. Women have made significant contributions to logistics, leading to valuable and diverse perspectives shaping successful teams in the industry.

The Changing Landscape of Gender Diversity

According to Gartner’s 2021 “Women in Supply Chains” Survey, women now comprise an average of 41% of the supply chain workforce. This represents a significant shift and a growing acknowledgment of the critical role women play in the logistics industry. Even more promising is the fact that 73% of supply chain organizations surveyed have set goals related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, highlighting the industry’s commitment to attracting, developing, retaining, and advancing women.

A 2022 Gartner survey revealed an encouraging trend in women’s representation in leadership positions within the supply chain. They found women to make up the following percentages of these roles:

  • First-line managers and supervisors: 34%
  • Senior managers: 30%
  • Directors: 28%
  • Vice presidents and senior directors: 21%
  • CSCOs, SVPs, EVPs, and CPOs: 19%

While these numbers are promising, it’s essential to recognize that there is room for further improvement, especially in reaching higher leadership positions. Women represent only 23% of VP-level positions in the average supply chain organization. However, progress is being made, thanks in part to diversity measures introduced by businesses and increased attention to equity and inclusion.

Challenges in Retaining Midcareer Women

The report highlights a challenge faced by the industry: retaining midcareer women. According to the survey, 54% of respondents identified retaining midcareer women as an increasing challenge. Lack of career opportunities emerged as the top reason for midcareer women leaving organizations. This underscores the importance of creating environments that foster career growth and development for women in logistics.

These factors are part of why TOC Logistics works so hard to foster a workplace where women and minorities feel empowered to succeed. In fact, women and minorities each respectively make up about 50% of our team. Our Vice-President, Jennifer Coulter-Lissman was even recognized as one of the Top Woman in Logistics for 2022. Her guidance and the leadership shown by the women within TOC has helped us to grow into an organization that outwardly expresses our support for women and minorities. We strive to provide continued opportunities, no matter where our team members are in their careers.

The logistics industry is transforming, with women playing pivotal roles in shaping its future. Women leaders are breaking barriers and demonstrating the value of diverse perspectives in an industry that demands agility and innovation. Their influence is vital for the continued success of the logistics sector. Embracing diversity and gender balance is not just a trend; it’s necessary for the logistics industry to thrive in an ever-evolving world.


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