Women in logistics are an important part of our teams
Although it might seem that logistics is an exclusively male field, this is not the case. The leader in the Czech transport market, Geis, employs women in a wide range of positions from the rank and file to managerial positions. Moreover, more and more women are entering the logistics industry. This is helped by the fact that technical and technological progress has made the work physically less demanding.
Logistics is no longer just about merchant numbers and hard physical work. It is a modern industry where complex information systems are interconnected and huge amounts of data flow, which need to be used optimally. The development of process automation, digitalisation and intelligent solutions - all along the logistics chain - is helping to make human work easier. The field is therefore becoming increasingly accessible to women. As Jaroslava Šindelářová, HR Manager at Geis CZ, says: "The proportion of women in our company has been growing over time and currently they make up about 40% of all employees. They work well in positions across the spectrum from the lowest to the top."
There used to be a heavy dependence on men, especially for warehouse work. Thanks to technological advances, picking and sorting machines and warehouse robots, women can now handle tasks that were previously the preserve of men. Thus, at Geis, we now find women as forklift operators, goods pickers and handlers, but they also work as warehouse managers. Another advantage is that in some of these positions, knowledge of the Czech language is not necessary, as the pickup technology is international. With the current wave of immigration, this opportunity is all the more relevant.
The predominance of women is clear in the dm drogerie markt e-shop warehouse in Pohořelice, which is provided exclusively by Geis for the drug company. Women make up up to 90 % of all employees there, some of whom are refugees from Ukraine. Given the nature of the goods, precision and care are important, and it is usually they who can offer this. Women are also prominently represented on Geis' logistics project for food manufacturer and distributor AG Foods or at the children's goods client babymarkt.de.
The project manager for dm drogerie markt and AG Foods is also a woman, Vladimíra Tučková. "Logistics gives me a huge opportunity to be creative, invent, innovate and develop. I like that almost every day is different - a whole range of variables play a role. Good teamwork is essential to overcome all challenges, including the covid one. And we have a great one."
The logistics provider also has female drivers in its ranks. Although the profession is still heavily dominated by men, there are also many women who love driving and are extremely satisfied in their jobs. Yveta Kolská, an interior designer by profession, helped a friend who had a transport company in the control room three years ago. She became fascinated with the industry and soon bought her first tractor and started driving a large truck. "When I arrived as a beginner driver at the Geis branch in Modletice, my colleagues took me in and helped me reverse to the logistics hall gates. And that's one of the things I enjoy about this profession. Since women behind the wheel of a truck are still rather the exception, male drivers try to help us women with everything. I really enjoy working for Geis and would definitely recommend it to women." She says she prefers driving a tractor-trailer to driving a car - the cab is spacious, the controls are clear, lots of things are automatic, you can see everywhere. She says the cab is such a comfortable living room.
Women are often seen in client service and dispatching positions at Geis. Men may be angry, but it is not uncommon to find that women are better suited for these positions. They tend to be more patient, empathetic and are often blessed with the ability to multi-task at once. These qualities are very positively perceived in direct contact with clients and other important elements of the chain.
Female representatives are not uncommon in administrative positions. Even at Geis, it is common to find female assistants, invoicers, accountants, saleswomen or marketing specialists working at the headquarters in Ejpovice near Pilsen and all 28 other branches across the Czech Republic.
The carrier has a woman in its ranks in an IT position, which is also often more male-dominated. "Although most of my colleagues are men, it's always about people, not gender. I am very lucky to have great colleagues." Bohuslava has been with the company for 20 years, yet she never gets bored. She also enjoys working in a male-dominated field because she has to constantly face new challenges and projects, look for context, navigate technical issues, and communicate with customers and users of the applications she develops. She would recommend this kind of work to other women: 'There is definitely an opportunity to use your potential. The work is varied, interesting, and there is a good training system in terms of professionalism. I also appreciate the communication across the company, which is very important for me as a woman. In addition, they are constantly improving and adding employee benefits, which is very good."
The company also fills senior positions with women. Jaroslava Šindelářová, HR manager, sees one of the advantages of employing women in managerial positions as the fact that women can provide a broader perspective on the situation or problem at hand in decision-making processes. They are also more detail-oriented and usually more meticulous than men. However, it is of course always necessary to individually assess the suitability of a position for a given candidate, regardless of gender.
At Geis, women often see perspective and stability. One proof of this is that they like to return after maternity and parental leave. Some of them are also at least partially involved in the parental joy of the time, so that they are kept in the loop and their full return to work is not such a shock. If the operation allows it, Geis accommodates mothers with, for example, flexible working hours or part-time work.
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