The number of women in the male-dominated logistics sector
is set to increase in the coming years. In a bid to keep attrition under check, domestic logistics players are increasingly laying a thrust on gender diversity
to ensure trained staff of higher longevity.
"With technology and automation
on the rise in the logistics sector, this is not just about physical work anymore. It also requires workers who can apply their minds. Due to this, women too stand a fair chance in this space unlike earlier," explained Abhishek Chakraborty, executive director of Bengaluru-based DTDC Express.
The average ratio of men in the domestic logistics industry
stood at 96 per cent about six-seven years ago, while the balance four per cent were women. This picture, however, is slowly and steadily changing.
"Among women, the loyalty factor towards the organisation is better. This ensures longevity, which helps keep the attrition rate low. This is important for stable and long-term players like us who need trained staff to rely on," said Chakraborty.
One of the country's largest integrated logistics solutions providers in the private sector, Allcargo Logistics, which is part of the Avashya Group, also has a similar plan.
"The effort on gender diversity
is a conscious one in our company. Vertical heads at AllCargo have been mandated to take a certain percentage of women on board," informed Joint Managing Director Adarsh Hegde. "Even during hiring, there is a mandate that of the total recruitments made, about 60-65 per cent be women," he added.
Allcargo Logistics' women workforce currently stands at 15-16 per cent, up from the earlier eight-nine per cent. "We are looking to have more women on board but have no target set for the same. At Avashya Group
level, the women workforce is currently about 40 per cent of the total," Hegde said.
"Over the years, the logistics business has also evolved, with IT (information technology) playing a crucial role. Logistics companies
have become tech-based and this gives ample scope for women to take up jobs in this sector," added Hegde.
Meanwhile, DTDC has set a clear target for itself in terms of increasing its female workforce.
"We plan to double our women workforce over the next two to three years to 20 per cent," said Chakraborty.
officials were also of the view that only organised and large players of the sector will look to bring in gender diversity
through conscious efforts in the coming years, while the unorganised players, which form the majority in the sector, are still soaking in the trend.
"We have women-friendly policies in terms of flexible working hours, work from home options, along with government-rolled out policies like the usual maternity leaves, etc. An effort is being made to have conscious diversification," said Hegde.
Some others said that their companies
placed importance on safety, security, and equality for women employees in order to assure a healthy working environment.
The domestic logistics industry
is largely made up of small and medium unorganised operators and hence the sector has been quite a laggard in terms of workforce management so far. Some industry
officials are of the view that though the ratio of female employees could be on the rise in the industry, the upside would remain capped.
"There are certain jobs like customer service, or even IT-related, within the logistics segment where women have scope to get recruited but certain other profiles, like deliveries and dispatches, are hardcore male-dominated and hence there will be demarked areas for men and women working in this sector," said Vijay Kumar, chief operating officer at Express Industry
Council of India (EICI).
Overall, the industry
is witnessing growth in job opportunities mainly due to the increased requirement in last- and first-mile delivery along with the rise in value-added and differentiated services, which is becoming the key point of competition among peers.
Women stake their claim in the logistics sector
Gender diversity to keep attrition rate low
Automation, technology advancement to make room for women in logistics
Gender diversity is seen to be strong among domestic organised players
Women ratio to rise but upside seen capped