What is your current position in the logistics industry?
I am Site Manager of CEVA’s multiuser warehouse in The Hague, Netherlands.
How long have you been working in this industry?
I am already working for 17 years in Logistics.
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?
I have a bachelor in Logistics & Economics and my master’s in Urban, Port and Transport Economics. Right after graduating I applied to a job at former TNT Logistics, now CEVA Logistics. After several different jobs within CEVA, I left the company for 11 years and worked for different 3PLs. In 2021 I returned to CEVA as a Site Manager. I love this role because it is a perfect combination of Operations and Commercials. It also gives you a lot of responsibilities and you are involved in different levels within the company.
Could you describe a challenge you had to face being a woman in a still male-dominated industry?
I have never had the feeling that being a woman created extra challenges for me. To me it always felt more as the opposite. People appreciate having a woman in a leadership role as well. I always felt appreciated for my experience and knowledge.
If there is any challenge it is mainly the balance between work and family. As a mother you do not want to miss important moments in your kids’ life, but as a Site Manager you do not want to miss milestones in projects or important moments at work.
In your opinion, what are the biggest misconceptions about women in logistics?
I have been participating in discussions with regards to women in leadership positions, but I always felt as an outcast, since their experiences were more negative than mine. The main misconceptions have to do with the availability of women in comparison to men. But nowadays you do see a lot of men working less than fulltime as well.
What traits or actions are key for women who want to succeed in supply chain?
More the soft skills instead of the hard skills. Women might have a different management style in comparison to men. They might manage less on the outcome and more on the way to the result. Women also rely more on intuition. If it feels good you should go for it, not always based on rational.
Did you have a role model as a little girl? Who was it?
Not as a little girl, but I’ve always been a fan of people with a passion, who do not care a lot about what others think, especially not the ‘important’ people, but always have an eye for the less fortunate people. This were mainly sportsmen like Kimi Raikkonen and Roger Federer.
How is CEVA attracting women to the sector?
I think that the management in the Benelux is aware of the balance that women bring in the leadership team. Unfortunately, it is still difficult to find woman for certain jobs, besides the more obvious like HR. I do see the effort management is putting in actively approaching woman for new jobs. This is also how I was approached. Although I like to think that this is due to my resume and not to me being a woman.
What could be improved?
The difficulty is mainly the attraction of the Logistics Sector to women. I was one of only 2 girls at college studying Logistics. I do not think CEVA should improve something. Like I mentioned before, we see more and more men working less than fulltime or taking care of the children. The main difficulty is that working part-time within logistics is difficult because it never stops, but it is also difficult to share a job, which might be easier as a teacher or a doctor.
Why do you think women are key in logistics? What do they already improve in the industry?
The mix is key. I cannot talk for all women, but if I talk about myself, I think women have another perspective on a team. The team is not only focused on results, but also more on fun at work, which helps boosting the spirit of the team and therefore the results.
Why does the logistics industry represent great career opportunities for women?
Not just for woman, but for everybody. Logistics is the future, it is something that never stops, but constantly develops. Logistics is no rocket science and you do not need a logistics background, what you do need is a passion for it, and if you have that, Logistics makes sense and can be very satisfying to work in, with a finance, tech, HR, or economics background.
What advice would you give to women interested in working in logistics?
If you like Logistics: just do it and follow your intuition. If you are not sure, the sector will probably not fit you. I think that you love or hate it, there is nothing in between.
Join us in honoring women's achievements - head back to our main page to read more interviews and articles.
We currently have 600 open positions across 181 locations spread over 47 countries organized in 14 teams.