For more than a century, International Women’s Day (IWD) has recognized the enormous economic, social and political contributions of women around the world. This year’s theme ‘Inspiring Change’ was the focus of UPS Canada’s ‘The Future of Women in Logistics’ panel discussion which took place on March 7. The event was an opportunity to gather women and men alike to discuss the changing industry of logistics and how women in particular can build their career in this field. Valuable insights from thought leaders from across the industry were shared with local businesses, government officials, UPS senior staff as well as the UPS Women’s Leadership and Development (WLD) committee.
The panellists included Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Ontario Minister of Labour and Minister of the Status of Women; Romaine Seguin, President, UPS Americas; Joy Nott , President, Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters; Debra Dinger, trade and compliance Manager, Supply Chain, Ericsson; and Julia Kuzeljevich, Associate Editor, Canadian Shipper (moderator).
“Our Government is committed to promoting the recruitment and advancement of women in all sectors and at all levels of the economy,” said the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch. “I encourage all organizations to support women through ongoing mentorship, leadership and skills training. This is good for women, good for business and good for Canada.”
UPS leaders within different functions of the business attended the event to share their personal stories – challenges and successes – working in the logistics industry.
Be it freight, operations, procurement or logistics, a 2012 study by the Van Horne Institute titled Women in Supply Chain found that women are presently under-represented within the industry. The study concluded that attracting and retaining more women was the overarching solution to addressing the growing Canadian labour shortage. The Van Horne Institute most recently reported 26,852 vacant supply chain positions across Canada , growing to about 356,747 vacancies by 2017.
The UPS WLD program was launched in 2007. It was designed to provide an integrated series of tools and practices to bring talented women from the hiring phase, through skills development and into higher levels of responsibility within the organization.
In its seventh year, the WLD Program is focused on fostering change and expanding strength in talent through diversity by improving retention of women at supervisor and manager levels, by developing women on the management team to enrich the pipeline of talent for higher level positions, and by positioning UPS for future business growth opportunities with women entrepreneurs.
“International Women’s Day represents the global effort to ensure there are opportunities for all and to inspire change,” said Michael Tierney, President, UPS Canada. “It’s incredibly important to celebrate and support women’s advancements not only once every 365 days, but year-round. In 2013, the UPS WLD committee in Canada hosted nearly 100 events with 1,000 participants – a success worth celebrating. As an organization, we are committed to creating an environment where our employees can improve their skill sets and share their strengths through continued training, mentorship programs and thought leadership.” Designed around leveraging networks and business connections, UPS runs its WLD program across its International operations. The training, development and networking aims to support a positive step forward for women working in logistics around the globe.