Addressing the stereotype that the logistics or transport industry is a career option for a very specific gender is a challenge. The most common managerial positions undertaken by women are in secretarial, communications and human resources. What’s worse is that the industry’s positioning in the manufacturing sector unfortunately, means that very few women are employed in or run businesses.
It’s been for ages considered a male-dominated field, but women have developed a significant presence in the industry workforce. From railways to roads, urban transport to civil aviation and as seafarers and dockers, women are working as drivers, conductors, pilots, mechanics and officers, as well as in administrative roles.
Samantha Chovuchovu, started her own logistics company and here she shares her experiences as woman dominating in the sector.
Why did you choose logistics?
Logistics is an industry that continues to grow, be it on the local, national or global scale. It links me to different people. I saw this as an opportunity to grow my network and get exposure to people in different businesses, which made good business sense.
Funny enough, growing up I always wanted to do law (which I’m still studying by the way) but I had a vision to run my own business one day.
What does one require for such a start-up?
First things first, a business plan and the ability to identify your target market.
Then obviously, capital to get up and running. Once capital is established you need to source reliable suppliers and manpower.Samantha Chovuchovu: Logistics continues to grow, be it on the local, national or global scale Click To Tweet
What common challenges come with this business?
Running a logistics company can be very demanding, yet it offers a rewarding work environment. Suppliers can be unreliable and the main issue is that the business has a lot of risk factors involved.
To be prepared for this one needs to be insured to cover any accidents.
How do you handle competition from the male competitors?
Competitors are everywhere. Being a woman in logistics has never been an issue to me. What’s more important is the role that I have to play and making sure the job gets done.
I am aware of competitors out there but I consider them more of an encouragement than a challenge to me.Samantha Chovuchovu: Running a logistics company can be very demanding, yet it is rewarding Click To Tweet
Going forward, what are your career prospects?
There are a lot of opportunities in logistics apart from just transporting goods. Operations, purchasing warehousing material handling and inventory control all fall under the umbrella.
I would love to seize and take advantage of all these.
Any recommendations or advice to young women considering logistics business?
I recommend that young women should seriously consider a career in logistics. As globalization moves forward, manufacturing and consumer behaviour will be influenced more and more by global and local markets.
Hence, there’s a growing need for logistics services in the supply chain. It is not easy, but one just needs to be very diligent and it will surely pay off.
Would you be in a position to mentor other women and/or offer internships to help them get ahead?
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