How female couriers at FedEx are challenging gender stereotypes
Industries around the world have made significant progress towards gender equality in recent decades.
From finance to retail, construction to logistics, women are playing a bigger role in transforming the perception of industries which have historically been dominated by men.
Encouragingly, the logistics industry is fast becoming an area of interest to a newer generation of women.
Women are becoming more and more visible in this fast-growing industry, and rightly so - the industry has been waiting for some time, to take advantage of the added value of female competence.
This year, joining millions of individuals and companies around the world, FedEx Express is marking International Women’s Day (March 8th), celebrating the diverse group of team members in its operations, including its female couriers in the UAE.
Two couriers discuss how their careers are being shaped and steered by flexible policies and practices; alongside a balanced work environment that supports the company’s people-first philosophy.
Lyka Queen Gomez joined the team at FedEx Express in 2018, as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to develop and enhance the role of women in frontline positions in the organization.
“I was encouraged to join by a former co-worker and I have never looked back. Working with the team, I grow in confidence every day. Their influence and support mean a lot to me, and collaborating with the team, I am easily able to balance my work and grow in my career,” she says.
Mary Jane Antonio, who recently joined FedEx Express in the UAE, describes a typical day at her work.
“I start my workday at 7am. Armed with a tablet computer and mobile printer, I inspect my vehicle, before moving on to a catchup meeting with the team and setting out to deliver packages. My day ends with filing and scheduling of international deliveries and crosschecking finances before I head home,” she says.
Message to Other Women
As it stands, the number of women in the transport and logistics industry remains small, with several employment surveys indicating that a significant number of women are still not aware of the opportunities in the logistics industry.
Speaking from their experience in operations, dispatch and customer service, both couriers encourage other women to apply for roles in the logistics industry.
“It is a misconception that this kind of a job is only for men, I have learnt from experience that as long as you are physically able to do the job and perform what is required, then you're fine,” says Antonio. “From the day I started, everyone has been so supportive, helping and guiding me.”
“I want to encourage more women to join the logistics industry,” adds Gomez. “Proper training will ensure you are confident in your role as a courier. I am picking up additional skills which are aiding my development not just for my personal growth but also in contributing to the company.”
Diversity in the FedEx Express workplace
In 2018, women made up 16% of FedEx Express management roles in the UAE, an increase of 5% from the previous year, a result the company is committed to grow in line with its global policy of providing equal employment opportunities that are represented by its commitment to diversity and inclusion.
“The importance of workplace culture is critical in creating a positive and welcoming environment for all team members, and diversity and inclusion are key components of any supportive company culture”, said Nathalie Amiel-Ferrault, vice president, customer experience, marketing & communications, FedEx Express Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa.
“While the logistics industry still has some work to do to ensure gender parity, we are committed to providing women with opportunities to grow within the company, to progress their careers and move more into leadership positions,” she added.
FedEx was recently named one of Forbes 2019 Best Employers for Diversity and for eight consecutive years has been ranked in the top 10 list of Great Places to Work in the UAE. FedEx Express was also awarded as the ‘Most Woman-Friendly Employer’, at the 19th Global Women in Leadership Economic Forum Awards.