What is your current position in the logistics industry?
I am the Head of Communications for Latin America region (10 countries).
How long have you been working in this industry?
I´ve been working at CEVA Logistics for 13 years. Prior to logistics, my previous roles in Communications were in the food industry, in the sanitaryware and metalware manufacturing industry, in the wood industry and in the financial sector.
How did you start your career in supply chain? Did a trigger make you choose this industry or get to your current position in the sector?
When I received the invitation to join CEVA Logistics, I was coming from a company in the urban planning sector. Until then, I had had previous experiences in industries but not specifically in service provision and the logistics world. I found the challenge interesting from the point of view of embracing a reality completely different from the one I had known until then and because I believed it was very fertile soil for the world of communication, full of opportunities and with a lot to make happen. My adaptation was very quick and I faced no difficulties. And I was right about the challenges I would find here... (and that I still face today!) It's something exciting and passionate! I never had the limiting belief that logistics was not for women!
Could you describe a challenge you had to face being a woman in a still male-dominated industry?
In fact, the logistics scenario is still a predominantly male world. Over the years, I see more and more women in positions that until then were only occupied by men and great women professionals holding leadership positions in our organization. This story is in constant transformation! I personally faced few difficult situations as a woman at CEVA. I've dealt with male management in the past who prioritized men in his trust group and I had a lengthy trust building process with him to gain respect in the work I led. Basically, two foolproof tips: 1) Demand respect above all else and 2) Maintain a professional demeanor at all times. These two actions have always been essential for me to make things work well!
In your opinion, what are the biggest misconceptions about women in logistics?
There are some women that make the mistake of thinking that this sector is not for them! Logistics is for everyone, regardless of gender.
At CEVA, we clearly value the potential and skills of each professional, respecting different genders and not creating labels that define what each one can or cannot be. If you can be successful in a career in logistics, you can be successful in any industry.
What traits or actions are key for women who want to succeed in supply chain?
Even if this journey is full of challenges and the scenario is far from ideal, women's participation in logistics over the years has been growing more and more. We know that the road to gender equality is still very long, difficult and with countless challenges to be overcome, and it is exactly for this reason that breaking these barriers and prejudices must be a priority.
By associating logistics directly with trucks, warehouses, deliveries, containers, cardboard boxes, among others, we automatically direct our brain to something masculine, for men. Yes, logistics are associated with all of that, but that's not what it's about! We serve customers, we provide an essential service for our customers' businesses, we contribute to their growth. We deal with people, manage people, build relationships of trust and manage careers. Logistics is about all that and much more! Now everything looks more feminine, doesn't it? That's what I'm talking about, it's not about gender, it's about equal opportunities for all. No labels, no limitations!
Did you have a role model as a little girl? Who was it?
A great example I always had was at home: my mother. She never stopped working due to motherhood. We are 3 brothers, today all adults, but we grew up seeing how our mother managed her professional life and her personal life with determination and never victimized herself for being a woman and having three children to raise. She made it happen and made the 3 of us have her as an example for the maturity we have in our lives today.
How is CEVA attracting women to the sector?
CEVA is an admirable company in this topic. Great women are examples of inspiration for others who work within it and also in the sector in which we operate. We have women leading regions, women leading operations, strategic areas. Women driving trucks, women operating forklifts. Women leading teams of men and women coaching men. Women at CEVA are respected and valued, and this is our biggest treasure.
What could be improved?
Speaking openly about the challenges faced by women in the labor market and emphasizing that gender inequality is a problem that exists is fundamental to promoting inclusion. Guiding employees, managers and leadership is also valid, it is extremely important that directors and other senior positions take a stand and show respect and empathy for the cause, as these professionals should be an example for other employees.
Why do you think women are key in logistics? What do they already improve in the industry?
The world of logistics has moved from a purely operational function to a tactical one. It ceased to be purely menial to be strategic and planned. As a result, females began to gain high-profile positions with good visibility, and it was not to be different, there are statistics that indicate that women have a better ability to work in a team, manage conflicts, reconcile personal and professional life and, of course, also are trying harder and doing their best to qualify and receive the same recognition as the male audience. We have great examples at CEVA, women with strong leadership characteristics, with a lot of competence and who lead highly responsible fronts.
Why does the logistics industry represent great career opportunities for women?
Among the main activities that women carry out in the logistics sector are those related to more strategic and less operational functions. Part of this is linked to changes in the organizational cultures of companies and also in the awareness of society as a whole. The change in the labor market led to a greater participation of women in logistics. New opportunities have arisen for women to develop their professionalism with leadership and respect.
What advice would you give to women interested in working in logistics?
The possibilities in logistics are countless and many women have already discovered this. Don't create barriers, generate solutions. Don't feed excuses, believe in your potential and come to this lovely world!
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