Following International Women’s Day last week, conversations about diversity and inclusion across the transport industry are becoming increasingly important.
This disparity continues at management level — 35% of transport companies don’t have any female key management personnel; this gap expands to 43% when considering female board members and chairs.
With the 2021 theme for International Women’s Day being #ChoosetoChallenge, now is an important time to build diversity across the industry. As a male-dominated field, transport and logistics would benefit from new perspectives and ideas brought from diverse inputs.
Embracing diversity will also be key to addressing the growing skills gap in freight. Road freight volumes are set to double by 2030, while the Australian heavy vehicle driver population is fast approaching retirement. The average heavy vehicle driver is 53 years old, and only 15% of drivers are under 30. Engaging women into the transport industry is one approach that will benefit this gap, as the potential pool for drivers would widen substantially.
Diverse workforces will be equally necessary to meet the modernisation and digitisation of the transport sector. With an increased availability of tracking and connectivity, the future of logistics will be powered by IoT. In order to meet these new and increasingly technological demands, the transport sector will need to implement digital processes and training, and hire from different skill sets and backgrounds, which will require diverse hiring practices.
Diversity will be key to taking advantage of these opportunities, with an emphasis on increasing female hires being especially important. This will require structural changes to build an inclusive workforce for the future.
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