RHA and CIC Champion Diversity and Inclusion on IWD

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Logistics professionals gathered to hear about diversity and inclusion successes at an RHA event on Friday 8 March.

Presented by industry experts, the workshop highlighted the good practice that encourages employee engagement, the battle against a labour shortage and low levels of workplace diversity. Throughout this inspiring event, speakers shared their experiences and approach to develop diversity within the industry; where women make up only 8% of the logistics sector and less than 2% of HGV drivers.

Hosted by Clipper Logistics Plc at their Northampton base, it was an opportunity to hear from Jennifer Swain, Clipper’s Head of Resourcing, presenting the company’s Fresh Start Scheme. Launched a year ago, the diversity and inclusion scheme was developed to find avenues to employ people, who normally find barriers to employment. ‘When you give somebody a chance, you’ll get loyalty in return. Give people the right culture and right environment and they will be successful.’ Said Jennifer.

‘The culture of an organisation is not based on the policy, it’s what happens on the day-to-day basis. Understand the culture of your organisation and engage with your employees about how it feels to work with you’, said Fiona Triller, Programme Director from RHA partner Creating Inclusive Culture. Fiona’s mission is to help people to think differently about developing D&I into their own workplace. ‘D&I is about creating a sense of purpose in the individual, creating that sense of engagement that people feel included in every possible way; feel that their opinion is valued’.

‘We are all diverse, but all have some common interests, and purposes that link us together’. This is how Jenny Tipping, HGV Instructor and Communication Consultant, makes people connect. Speaking about her experience, approach and the challenges she faced when she started as a trainer back in 2009, realising that men in the industry didn’t want to be taught by a woman.

Janet John, Operations Manager Co-Op, tells us that from her experience in working in the logistics industry, diversity is changing but not fast enough. Grace Walker, 19 year old and HGV driver with Clipper Logistics faced many challenges when trying to get a job. This included difficulties to get insured and organisations not being prepared to pay the high insurance rate for young drivers. Her experience shows that there is still an awful lot of work to do to bridge the gaps and open work opportunities for the younger generation.

The RHA is calling for other operators to get involved to help challenge the perception of the transport and logistics industry. Join the RHA to share best practice across the sector and continue to raise awareness and promote the positives of a more diverse and inclusive culture.