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March 30, 2023
Creating career pathways for women in transportation and logistics
While women comprised 41% of the supply chain workforce in 2021, they only accounted for 15% of its executives, according to research from Gartner. The majority of the survey respondents said that there are low rates of retention among midcareer women in the industry, largely due to lack of career and development opportunities in the field.

In this post, we honor Women’s History Month and hear from female leaders at Amazon working in transportation and logistics about how they have advanced their careers. These leaders offer tips for how women can market themselves and thrive as they grow in the industry.

Honoring the women who came before us
While our history is rich with women working in supply chain, trucking, and transportation, we still have a long way to go to close the gender gap. To encourage women to enter and advance in the field, it helps to first reflect on the contributions of some of our female pioneers.

For example, Luella Bates was the first female licensed truck driver in the United States. She was also a mechanic and test drove Model B trucks for the Four Wheel Drive (FWD) auto company.

In addition to the others on this list, Edwina “Curlie” Justus broke down barriers for women in rail. She became the first Black woman engineer for Union Pacific Railroad and had a 22-year career there. She tells her story in Union Pacific Engineer: An Autobiography of UP's First Black Woman Locomotive Engineer.

Women like Bates and Justus continue to inspire others to pursue careers in fields such as engineering, transportation, logistics, supply chain, and trucking.

Women in the field today
Today, we are seeing signs of progress. More women are becoming truck drivers as barriers comes down and the industry faces driver shortages, according to CNBC. Women comprised almost 14% of professional drivers in 2022, according to Women in Trucking, up from just 7.9% in 2018. They also accounted for a third of senior-level executives in transportation, according to the 2022 Women in Trucking Index, up from 24% four years earlier.

While this trend is heading in the right direction, there is still work to be done when it comes to empowering more women to step into leadership and senior executive roles.

Tips for our future
Members of Amazon Transportation Services (ATS) offer advice for the industry’s current and future female employees in the hopes of inspiring them to pursue leadership roles. When asked why women in transportation should network to market themselves, Jillian Kosic, Head of Global Brand and Creative for ATS, says, “I think the better question is why not?”

That’s because, 85% of jobs are filled through networking, and 70% of jobs are never even published externally.

Kosic, who has spent the past three years in the transportation sector, says some of the trepidation stems from a reluctance to do what may seem like bragging about themselves. “My advice is to be proud of your successes. Talk about the value you bring and the impact you’ve had and don’t hesitate to advocate for yourself and to inform others of your accomplishments. Marketing yourself is simply telling your story and showcasing to the next person what value you bring to the table.”

For women starting out in their careers or looking to make a transition, Kosic says to be patient. “Building your network of influence takes time and grows with small steps. Start with small goals, such as meeting three new people each month. Don’t hesitate to reach out to people you already know and ask for an introduction to one their contacts. You’ll be amazed at who you meet and what you learn.”

Jennifer Ortiz, Brand Program Manager for ATS, suggests embracing LinkedIn, while being intentional about your online presence. “Social media is a great tool that helps you be a voice in your industry and community. It’s easy to engage with others, follow like-minded leaders, and leverage interest groups on LinkedIn. It all lets you network and share your career aspirations.”

Ortiz provides guidelines for how to tell your story on social media. “For those interested in a personal brand, keep it simple. Look introspectively, such as ‘I am a writer, marketer, daughter, Latina.’ Focus on the traits that define who you are, supplement them with your professional goals, and share your authentic self on your profile.”

Whether you have a personal brand or not, sharing posts that are important to you will enhance your presence. “It does help to be consistent with what you post and how often you post. For LinkedIn, here’s a tip: the best time to post is before and after traditional U.S. working hours.”

Learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion at Amazon.
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