International Women’s Day Celebrations
Louise Heath - @LouiseAHeath - reports from Michelin HQ
This International Women’s Day on 8 March the RHA joined forces with Michelin and held an event designed to highlight opportunities for women within the road haulage and transport industries.
Held at Michelin HQ in Stoke-on-Trent, the event was attended by 30 female students aged between 15-18 from academies and colleges across Staffordshire.
The day included educational and inspirational talks from various members of the Michelin staff, including Marketing Manager Tracy Lewis, HR Manager (diversity and inclusion) Jane Belcher, and Katie Walker, the company’s B2B Digital Marketing Manager.
Katie Walker explained: “Events like this are important as it keeps the empowerment message going for the future generation and it reminds the students that women are equal to men. The event was well received by the students and it did well in regards to showcasing what both Michelin and the RHA are about and it merged in nicely with She’s RHA.”
Alex Minto, RHA Digital Marketing Executive, also spoke to the students about the important work that our She’s RHA initiative is doing to encourage diversity into our industry.
The event also gave the students an opportunity to ask career-related questions to seven inspirational women within the road haulage and transport industries. The women came from a range of different backgrounds, and included Adelaide Herbert, Michelin’s Truck Sales Account Manager, and RHA Commercial Director Karen Crispe.
XPO / M&S Event
On the eve of International Women’s Day men and women from She’s RHA and XPO gathered at the XPO/M&S Distribution Centre in Bradford. After a fascinating tour of the impressive one million square feet warehousing facility, attendees were able network, discussing their various jobs, skill sets and sharing experiences of working in the transport and logistics sector. XPO employees Annie Knell and Sarah Badby delivered presentations on their transport career path along with ideas for promoting a diverse workforce. Their stories were inspiring and would have encouraged and empowered those who attended to believe that anything is possible within the transport industry’. Newly appointed She’s RHA Project Manager said, ‘This event attracted people from all job roles, ranging from shop floor workers to managers, who were able to share their experiences within the industry. Of particular interest to me was the opportunity to tour the automated warehouse with state of the art technology’
Harrogate Ladies College
This year Harrogate Ladies College celebrated 25 years and chose to mark the occasion by celebrating International Women’s Day and opening the college to a host of female business leaders. Lesley O’Brien, partner at Freightlink Europe and Chair of the She’s RHA steering group was invited to speak on the topic ‘How to survive in a male culture’. Lesley said, ‘I was invited to inspire, but was inspired by these very talented, passionate and confident girls who live a privileged existence. Nevertheless, like many other young girls they had little appreciation of the importance and potential in our industry. It is entirely this calibre of person that we need to reach out to if we want to fill our skills gap with talented and ambitious young people’. Joanne Harris of ‘Chocolat’ fame concluded the day with an interesting talk of how she achieved her success. Harris amused the girls by suggesting they ask awkward questions, stating ‘women who change the world ask awkward questions’, and not to be put off by rejection as ‘rejection was only a landmark on the road to success’. She continued to state that the girls should therefore be’ persistent in pursuing their goals’. Said Lesley,’ I think this is great advice not only for these young girls, but for us all’
Jennifer Moss reports
I met with the careers team at Roundhay back in November to arrange this event. Rounday have an excellent careers guidance programme and Anne and Alison who head this up are fantastic! The event was an open invitation to the whole of year 10, 11 and sixth form and was done in their lunch break as part of a series of ‘Lunch and Learn’ events centered around real world workplaces. I was worried that no one would turn up but it helped to have a ‘mole’ on the inside. A good friend of mine is a teacher at Roundhay and in exchange for not showing the young people any embarrassing videos, photo’s and stories she encouraged all her classes to come along… a little bit of friendly blackmail. I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did about 15 people come along, they had actually chosen to be there! This put my nerves at rest and I explained what Logistics was and why they should consider this as a career option. The group were exceptional… really engaged and asked many questions, something I also found helpful for my nerves! Great feedback from the school afterwards and hopefully there will be future events with the careers team at Roundhay.
“My favourite part of today was talking to all the women and listening to their experiences,” said Charlotte, 17, from Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College. “I was surprised at how many different jobs there were in the transport industry, and after today I would think about a career in the industry as it links in with a lot of different things I’m interested in.”