March is Women’s History Month, giving us the perfect opportunity to highlight the women who work to keep the supply chain moving. Women’s History Month is a dedicated month to reflect and celebrate the contributions of women to the United States history.
At Phalanx Logistics Solutions, we have amazing women who help lead our team, assist customers through their logistics needs, manage our Accounting, and organize our Marketing efforts. Throughout March, we hope to highlight some of our female workers and their roles in the supply chain.
Women in Logistics History
Logistics and supply chain management traditionally and continues to be a male-dominated field with just 20% of women working outside the home in the early 20th century.
During World War I, women began to get their foot in the door in male-dominated fields as men left to fight in the war. Women now had the opportunity to prove themselves in factory work, production design, lab testing, warehouse work, and driving trucks, roles they had never previously been allowed to do.
Lillie Drennan, with her husband, started a trucking company and became the sole owner in 1929 after getting divorced. She received her commercial truck driver’s license in 1929 from the Railroad Commission, but not without question. The Commission was reluctant due to her hearing impairment which Lillie assumed was due to her gender, and argued her case, based on her driving record, “If any man can beat my record I’ll just get out of here.” Lillie was the first woman to own a trucking firm and to receive a CDL in the United States. She operated the Drennan Truck Line for almost twenty-four years.
World War II gave women another chance in the labor force. Propaganda like Rosie the Riveter encouraged women to begin working in factories again. By the 1990s, 74% of women between the ages of 25 and 54 were participating in the labor force, compared to 93% of men ages 25-54 working.
Women in Logistics Today
Despite labor advancements for women in the logistics and supply chain sector, they continue to be outnumbered and face issues within the workforce with unequal pay, treatment, etc.
According to a survey by Gartner, Inc., women made up 41% of the supply chain labor force in 2021, up from 39% in 2020. Based on the Department of Labor statistics, there are 3,487,000 listed as “driver/sales workers and truck drivers” with just 7.9% being women or 275,473 female drivers.
Progress needs to continue as gender pay disparities, lack of diversity, safety issues, lack of opportunity, glass ceilings, and sexual harassment continue throughout all industries, not just logistics and supply chain. Women bring diverse thoughts, new ideas, and different experiences that our industry greatly benefits from having.
Driven for You, Fueled by Women!