One of UK’s top recruitment agencies for driving, warehousing, manufacturing, logistics, engineering and professional services, Encore Personnel is leading the charge to encourage more women into the logistics industry, having appointed a female recruitment consultant as the business’s in-house ‘women in logistics’ champion.
Established in Leicester in 2001, Encore Personnel operates 10 branches and 22 Managed Services sites across the Midlands, employs more than 200 staff and places 4,000 workers each week, many of these are within the driving, warehousing, and logistics industry.
The transport and logistics industry is one of the biggest workforces in the UK, however women only account for 20 per cent of the employees1 in the sector. With the support of the entire Encore Personnel team, newly appointed women in logistics champion Cara Frayling is now tackling the shortage of females in the industry head-on.
She is working to launch Encore’s own Women in Logistics programme, and through partnering with Women in Logistics UK, an organisation and group that support, connect, engage with and inspire women in the sector, her goal is to increase the number of women Encore recruits into logistics roles by 50%.
Speaking from her experience of working in the sector for many years, research and networking Cara is concerned by the lack of women in driving, warehousing and logistics positions.
She explained: “The logistics industry isn’t one that is typically appealing to women, and this is a perception we are working to alter. The draw of being able to work shift patterns which allows women to still manage home duties and have a good work-life balance is one reason why the sector should appeal far more to women than it currently does. But this side of the industry is under-represented and not promoted to female job seekers in appealing ways.
“Through working with Women in Logistics UK, we also want to set-up and attend support groups to allow more women to share their experiences and stories of working in the industry, be able to provide and get advice to and from those in logistics and feel even more supported in their career. Ultimately we hope these groups will help women build roots and connections to get into the industry in the first place and then craft a long-lasting career.”
The reasons why women don’t want to take a step into the industry have also become increasingly apparent to Cara, as she adds: “We understand that the logistics industry may give off the impression of being a rough, tough, tiring one however it is also a very rewarding one. In addition, we know the thought of having to take a break in a male dominated truck stop, with facilities that may be more suited to men than women, may not be the most appealing to females, however with Women in Logistics UK, this is a challenge we are tackling as well as. Ultimately we hope to see truck stops change and become more welcoming and suitable places for women.”
Cara is encouraging the entire sector to lead the change in how they appeal to and recruit more women to join the industry as well as recognise the benefits of having more females in the industry. She said: “The whole industry would shift if more women took up logistics positions. With women said to be more cautious drivers, the roads would be safer and less accidents would be potentially likely to happen, which ultimately would bring far reaching benefits to the supply chain.
“My advice to businesses within the logistics sector would be to take the lead and review your current approach to certain historically male dominated roles and how you can attract women to these positions as well as men. On the other side, my advice to women who are exploring a career in logistics is to delve in. There are many benefits as explained, so why not take up a driving and warehousing role and see for yourself.”
Andrew Fletcher, senior team member in the Encore driving division added: “I am incredibly proud to support Cara with this drive to get more women into logistics roles. The importance of this programme is paramount in tackling the ever-growing HGV driver shortage. From flexibility around shift working to support with on-the-job training, there are so many great reasons for women to build a career in the industry. I look forward to helping Cara in any way that I can with her exciting plans and drive.”
Encore prides itself on its exceptional client and candidate service. It puts the customer and candidate/ employee experience at the centre of all strategy with dual value propositions of ‘your business, your culture, our priority’ and ‘your future, your wellbeing, our priority.’ It places its success on following its key values including avoiding negativity, creating loyalty and communicating with a refreshing openness.