One of the UK’s first female lorry drivers, Rayner Bellamy, is celebrating 25 years in the industry at Clugston Distribution, one of the UK’s leading independent logistics companies and part of the Clugston Group of companies.
There has been a lot of talk recently about women working in male dominated industries like logistics and engineering, with the overall feeling being that more needs to be done to encourage change in these sectors.
It is no secret that within the logistics industry, women are largely unrepresented, particularly as drivers and have been so for many years. According to Women in Logistics in the UK, only 22% of the entire workforce in the logistics industry is female, compared to 46% in industry as a whole.
Ms Bellamy commented, “If we want to attract more women into logistics, changes need to be implemented at a grass roots level. Women are not encouraged to look into certain careers from a young age, and there is no real direct route into the logistics industry.”
Ms Bellamy added, “I was lucky, I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a lorry driver and I think that unless a woman really knows she wants to be a lorry driver then they will never be encouraged to be one. More needs to be done within schools and colleges so that girls are more aware of all the opportunities available to them.”
Clugston Distribution is leading the way however, when it comes to challenging the perceptions of gender roles and is actively encouraging a more balanced representation. The Scunthorpe based company currently employs two female drivers in the petrochemical division and one in the cement division. The latest fleet supervisor recruited to the team is also a woman.
As a corporate partner to the University of Hull Business School, Clugston Distribution also employed Rhianna Hall on a year-long internship in a business development and marketing function.
Sue Chapman, transport supervisor at Clugston Distribution, who has worked in the industry for 20 years said, “There are many reasons for women not entering logistics, poor flexibility and inflexible working hours need to be addressed in order to create a more female friendly working environment. This is something that Clugston does well for all of its employees.”
Although still relatively small, in a male dominated industry such as logistics, Clugston Distribution is ‘miles ahead’ when it comes to encouraging more women into the industry, helping to narrow the gender gap.