Although women have entered many male-dominated industries in the last decade, much progress is still to be made. Having many different genders, races and age groups within the industry is essential because people with different experiences can give greater insight into how the company can improve. More women are becoming involved in shipping industry and packaging, but the gender gap remains. Find out more about how women enter the industry and how we can encourage more women to get involved.
Women Are Becoming More Involved with the Shipping Industry
Although men and women are not relatively equally represented in the shipping industry, the number of women involved in shipping jobs has dramatically increased in the last several decades. According to Packaging Digest, the number of women in the packaging industry in 1976 was just 5%. By 2018, that number had risen to somewhere between 30 and 40%—progress! However, we still want the number to be closer to 50/50 to ensure that men and women are equally represented in the shipping and packaging industry. The more willing the initiative is to open jobs up to women, particularly those higher-level jobs like management, the more successful it will become.
Diversity Brings More Ideas to the Industry
In any industry, diversity is essential. Not only because it’s unfair to solely give one demographic priority when it comes to job placement and because diversity itself can improve the company. When you’re only getting perspectives from older, white males, you’re not getting a great sense of what the general population might want as consumers. When you diversify your employee pool, you’ll learn about more concerns or ideas, such as investing in eco-friendly packaging. The shipping industry not only needs more women, but it’s also looking to hire younger employees in an attempt to learn more about where the future of shipping might be headed.
Women in Shipping Industry Can Help Recruit New Employees
New technologies and automation procedures have led many industries to cut down their employees, but when it comes to the shipping industry, plenty of employees are still needed to help work the warehouses and manage the technology that has been implemented. In fact, with the popularity of online shopping, the packaging industry is growing. The National Retail Federation predicted an eight to 12% growth in the industry in 2017. With growth comes more available jobs, but the industry is having difficulty attracting new workers. When more women enter a traditionally male-dominated jobs like shipping or manufacturing, it helps to change the face of the sector and attract new workers to these available positions.
Women Make Up Less Than Half the Workforce
Although women make up 50.8% of the U.S. population, they represent less than half of all workers in the shipping industry. As previously mentioned, the percentage of women in shipping has steadily risen in the last 30 years, but they are still underrepresented. The best way to increase the number of women in this industry is by promoting and encouraging women to apply for jobs, especially higher-level management positions that they are qualified for. This will increase women’s presence, attract new employees and diversify the workforce.
How to Modernize the Shipping Industry
1. Use Eco-Friendly Packaging
Keeping up with the latest trends in shipping and warehousing is essential if you want to stay in business. These days, companies and individuals are concerned with the amount of waste produced and released into landfills and the atmosphere. To help combat the issue of climate change, many businesses are making shifts to modernize their business and make their company a little greener. Regarding the shipping industry, eco-friendly packaging can significantly impact your waste output. This packaging made from recycled materials helps keep these products from clogging up landfills and prevents more waste from being released into the atmosphere while producing these products.
2. Encourage Young People to Enter the Industry
As previously mentioned, the shipping industry is having trouble attracting younger employees. Integrating the more youthful generations into any industry is helpful because they typically understand technology better and will quickly adapt to the tech used in warehousing. Young workers also have different perspectives on the industry and its future, which can significantly impact your company and offer new ideas on how to stay current. If you’re involved with the shipping industry, try to rebrand your company to attract these younger employees and revitalize your business.
3. Integrate New Technologies
The best method for staying up-to-date within any industry is to know about new technology. This doesn’t always mean that the latest tech is necessary, but as long as you are aware of the trends, you can determine whether they will benefit your business. Research shipping technology and subscribe to trade publications like Packaging Digest to ensure you’re in the know at all times. If you do come across a new technology that would revolutionize your business, don’t hesitate. Invest in the software or equipment and stay one step ahead of your competition.
4. Help Close the Gender Gap in the Shipping Industry
Women are becoming increasingly involved in shipping, packaging and warehousing, but we’re still not quite where we want to be. With 30 to 40% of the industry being female workers, we need to attract a more significant number of qualified candidates. Companies can use their current female employees to attract more women to the industry by attending recruitment events. Diversifying your workplace will improve the overall quality and success of your company. To make your business as successful as possible, try implementing other modernizing techniques like using eco-friendly shipping or investing in the latest technology.