Logistics is not just a man’s world anymore. Women are proving themselves every day in this fast-paced industry, bringing fresh perspectives, creativity, and a collaborative approach to solving complex challenges. On this International Women’s Day, we salute the women who are driving progress and shaping the future of logistics. Continuing our Women’s Day Series, we have insights from Chaitaly Mehta, Director, EKF, Global Logistics Pvt Ltd, who believes that by creating a workplace culture that values and respects women, we can celebrate their achievements and empower them to succeed. Here are the excerpts-

1. How do you think we can celebrate and honour the achievements of women in the cargo and logistics industry on International Women’s Day, and throughout the year?

When it comes to celebrating and honoring the achievements of women in the workplace, I believe that actions taken on a daily basis are more important than those taken on a specific day, such as International Women’s Day. Some of the actions that can help show appreciation and recognition to women in the cargo and logistics industry include treating them with the same standards and inclusion as their male counterparts, ensuring hygiene requirements are met in the workplace, providing equal pay and opportunities for growth, giving visibility to their achievements and contributions, and genuinely listening to and incorporating their suggestions and recommendations. It is important to avoid treating women differently from their male counterparts and to address any instances of gender-based discrimination or biases. By creating a workplace culture that values and respects women, we can celebrate their achievements and empower them to succeed.

2. Can you share any challenges you’ve faced as a woman working in the cargo and logistics industry, and also, how did you overcome them?

I faced several challenges in my work, primarily related to operations and some people’s unwillingness to accept that I knew my job well. Dealing with these challenges was often difficult and sometimes even brutal, causing me to break down and experience a range of emotions such as frustration and anger. However, despite these obstacles, I persisted and eventually found a way to overcome them. One particularly challenging experience was the handling of our first chopper shipment, which was incredibly difficult and even cruel. I experienced significant losses during that time, which have impacted me deeply and changed me forever. While I did gain some valuable experience from that situation, the losses incurred will never be fully recovered. Overall, these challenges have taught me to be resilient and to persist in the face of adversity.

3. How can women in the cargo and logistics industry take advantage of the opportunities created by digitisation to advance their careers and make a meaningful impact in the industry?

Digitization has changed the way we do business in the industry.  For the women this is the best time to learn and then implement. For those with small kids WFH is not a dream anymore. Education and furthering your knowledge with courses is at its peak now because we have some great courses and superb teachers. Accessibility to information and people is so easy now. Even if a person lacks operations knowledge, it can be learnt now thanks to Digitization. Running a Logistics company isn’t easy but now there are tools available which help for the same if used correctly and for right purposes.

4. What advice would you give to young women who are interested in pursuing a career in the cargo and logistics industry?

Everywhere I go, I am always asked the same question about how to succeed. My answer remains consistent, and it involves making sacrifices initially to achieve success. Without a combination of theoretical and practical work experience, it can be difficult to grow. Another critical aspect is having empathy no matter what, as we are not in a race or competition. It’s important to be patient and avoid shortcuts, as our reputation is always more critical than the money in our bank account. We must treat it kindly. Additionally, it’s essential to be alive, enjoy every moment, and realize that only the lucky and blessed get to be a part of this beautiful industry. We should thrive and leave a legacy. Learn to ask for help, and more importantly, return the favor and extend help when required. Confidence is key, and boosting your self-esteem is vital. Above all, don’t quit, be honest and open, but cautious and careful too. Learning operations, documentation, and finance will empower you unlike anything else. Finally, never forget your teachers, and always show gratitude for their guidance.

5. Please share an excerpt from your journey or any of your experiences working as a woman in the cargo/logistics industry.

My journey has been amazing with ups and downs but what I wanted ? I have after 25 yrs managed to create my own identity   a niche in this market and leave a legacy behind. I am super honored about my lineage and contributions my family have made to this industry. Doors opened because of my  family but success is because of sheer hard work, persistence and determination. There are many anecdotes and stories but unfortunately not for public. Suffice to say I am probably in one of the best phases of my professional life.