A Redditch-based business is determined to provide more opportunities for women in the logistics and supply chain sector. 

Oakland International has rolled out several initiatives in the aim of cutting through the barriers women face within its industry as they only represent around seven per cent of the logistics sector workforce. 

Key schemes include operating flexible shift patterns, trialling workplace childcare facilities and offering the same pay rates irrespective of gender for both part-time and full-time roles to attract more female talent and provide a platform for career development. 

After joining the company three years ago, Oakland International Transport manager, Lynne Pearson, said: "I've always had an interest in transport and joined to assist with the transport administration and drivers' shifts. 

"As my transport knowledge increased, and despite every day bringing new challenges, I wanted more and approached Oakland to undertake the Certificate in Professional Competence (CPC) transport qualification. 

"They were very supportive and even put me through the required training and qualification, which I successfully completed in November 2022, and when the opportunity arose, I applied and was appointed transport manager."  

Ms Pearson and her fellow female colleagues also attended the launch event of Women in Cold Chain (WiCC) in September where Oakland International's co-founder and group CEO, Dean Attwell, was one of the speakers. 

The WiCC initiative aims to encourage female school leavers, university graduates and women from other industry sectors to consider a career in the temperature-controlled storage and distribution industry which is traditionally male-dominated. 

Ms Pearson added: "At WiCC, the speakers imparted their experience that anything's possible and so many women talked about their own experiences of working within a male-dominated environment that I too had experienced. 

"I do believe that some men just don't realise the challenges women face and they need to hear about it first-hand to understand and support women in their chosen profession.

"It was fantastic and I left feeling empowered by the speakers and women I met. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet other women and who knows, I might be able to encourage others into our industry."

For more information visit www.oakland-international.com