The limited number of women and young people working in logistics is a severe issue which must be addressed going forward, the industry lobby says.
Australian Logistics Council (ALC) boss Michael Kilgariff says diversity – or lack thereof – is one of the biggest issues faced by the Australian logistics industry.
“The perception of the logistics industry, and the limited number of women and young people attracted to the logistics sector, is a significant issue for our industry and one in which ALC is determined to take a leadership role,” Kilgariff said on June 25.
ALC’s board last week announced a new strategic focus to “attract, support and develop diversity in the logistics industry”.
To start, ALC will organise a pair of events: the first ‘Women in Logistics Summit’ to take place in Melbourne on November 25, and the first ‘Young Guns in Logistics Conference’ to be organised in 2016.
The events are part of a decision by ALC to formally include the issue of ‘people’ in its policy focus.
“Expanding ALC’s focus to incorporate the policy issue of ‘people’ acknowledges ALC’s commitment to take a greater role in encouraging greater diversity into the logistics industry,” Kilgariff explained.
“For the logistics industry to achieve much needed productivity improvements, we need to have the best possible talent working across all parts of the supply chain.
“Our people are our most important asset, and it is appropriate we give this issue the same strategic focus as we do the areas of infrastructure, regulation, technology and supply chain safety.”
Kilgariff said many women and young people are qualified to work in the industry, but cannot access appropriate employment within the industry. Fixing this issue, he said, would benefit companies by widening the recruitment pool, and bringing a new perspective “to what is generally an ageing and male-dominated industry”.
As well as encouraging new entrants into logistics, ALC plans to work with businesses to develop better pathways for women and young people already employed by the industry.
Kilgariff said many leading logistics companies already have pro-active programs to attract, support and develop greater diversity in the workplace.
“ALC will seek to harness the good work already underway by its members and stakeholders, as well as develop new measures to support greater diversity in the workplace,” he said.
ALC will now instigate a policy committee of members to oversee ALC’s work in this area, including planning for the ‘Women in Logistics Summit’ for November.