Local haulage firm challenges gender employment gap in UK’s logistics industry

TO MARK International Women’s Day today (Wednesday) a local haulage firm is calling for more women to enter the UK’s logistics workforce in a bid to close the gender employment gap across the industry.

With women making up only 20 per cent of the transport sector and only three per cent of HGV drivers in the UK, Streamline Shipping Group is encouraging more women to enter the industry.

Rosanne Goudie. Photo: Streamline Shipping Group

The company has depots in Aberdeen, Shetland, Orkney, Shetland and Inverness.

General manager at the Shetland depot Gillian MacDonald said: “It seems strange that in 2023 the logistics industry is still a heavily male-dominated sector with only 10 per cent of managerial roles taken on by women.

“To this day, I still experience confusion from customers who expect to be assisted by a male manager.

“I believe this sort of misunderstanding is down to a failure to promote the logistics sector as an inclusive career choice for women.”

Streamline Shipping Group is eager to see more women join the UK’s logistics workforce.

At the moment 33 per cent of the company’s managerial staff is female, with representation across various departments, including the board of directors.

In June 2008 Rosanne Goudie joined the company, starting out on an eight wheeler HIAB before progressing to an artic. She is thought to be one of only two female artic drivers in the north of Scotland.

“I’ve seen the looks from customers who expect to find a man behind the wheel – and in an industry where there are 315,000 registered drivers and only 2,200 of those are female, I understand their surprise,” Goudie said.

“Despite this, I never really questioned whether or not women should be lorry drivers – why shouldn’t we?

“After all, the HGV pass rate for men is currently 56.9 per cent but 64.8 per cent for women. Throughout my time at Streamline Shipping Group, I think I’ve proven myself to be just as capable, if not better, than any other driver – regardless of their gender.

“My advice for anyone starting out in this industry is to just go for it. Always listen and learn from others, grabbing any chance you get to improve your skills and be a better driver.”

Shetland News