International Women’s Day – the logistics view

Today marks International Women’s Day across the globe. While it is improving (here at Twill 50% of our management are women – a stat that we’re very proud of) the logistics industry continues to dominated by men.

As we look to tackle this disparity we spoke to Daisy Zhang, Twill Head of Product, about her experience as a woman working in logistics – and the lessons she has learnt in her time in the industry:

Q: International Women’s Day covers a host of issues – how do you embrace it? 

“If you search online, you can find plenty of articles talking about women’s rights in the workplace, as well as how to keep the balance between work, life, family and the million other things we all want to keep up with! That can be a very heated topic, but I like to focus on how we as women can empower ourselves and each other – because we know we can do the same jobs as men in this industry.

“Let’s assume that you are lucky, as I am, to work for an organization respecting diversity and equality. I’ve found that it is about how we embrace the opportunities presented to us – how do we take hold of them and let our work shine; leading us to the rewards and recognition we know we deserve.”

Q: Have you ever felt a unique pressure as a woman in this industry? 

“I think for a lot of women in any industry, but particularly in technical industries where men do still represent the majority of positions, there is a tendency to question yourself – if you might be one of few women in your team, it might feel like there is more of a spotlight on you. I know there have been times in my career when I asked myself – ‘am I really capable of this?’, ‘what if I fail?’, ‘what might people say or think if I fail?’ – but you have to be confident!

“When I decided to join Twill, if I had worried too much about my lack of digital experience for example, instead of focusing on what value I can bring, that could have swallowed me up and I might not have joined the company in the first place – which I know I would have regretted for life.

“It’s natural for anyone, woman or man, to question themselves, but now when I do question myself I try and be more constructive – ‘What should I do if I take this opportunity?’ or ‘How can I manage the capability gap?’ – these questions aren’t about whether I can do X, Y or Z, because I know I can. They’re about how I will do it.”

Q: You talk about being more confident – how did you get that confidence?

“I think the most important thing is, if you know there are things that you’re good at, don’t be shy – let people know about it!

“There are a lot of women who don’t need to be told this – every woman is different – but in previous jobs I used to be one of those people who sits in the corner and silently gets the job done. It wasn’t until later that I found out that people had very little visibility of what I achieved and what I was good at. That’s a frustrating feeling and it’s something I have actively worked to change.

“Hiding your strengths is a loss of opportunity to both you and your organization. At Twill we know what each other’s strengths are across the company and we work to give everyone the opportunity to display those strengths whenever possible.” 

Q: Is there a final piece of advice you’d like to leave us with?

“I’d say know what it is you deserve. If you feel that you are demotivated because you are not getting what you deserve – whether that’s a salary increase or job opportunity, or something much smaller – don’t keep the feeling to yourself. Be outspoken about it. You owe yourself a fair chance to fight for what you deserve.

“I greatly appreciate all the efforts from those organizations and communities which are pushing forward the progress of women rights and equality in the workplace – particularly in the logistics industry. But I truly believe, at the end of day, the greatest empowerment has to come from ourselves!”

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