International Women's Day 2022 - Stacie Aldridge & Sam Rawlings
We’re passionate about our people and developing their career with Gist. Here, we catch up with two female colleagues working in our transport teams as they discuss their roles and how they have overcome bias as a woman entering the logistics industry.
Stacie Aldridge joined as an Admin Clerk at Gist Hemel Hempstead. She explains: “I joined in 2018, and the following year I was put forward to take the CPC certificate, which is the qualification needed for transport managers to run a fleet, and I passed. I just turned 20 at the time and I was the youngest person in Gist to pass the certificate.
“I remember when I got my first role at Gist, friends made comments such as “it’s a man’s job” and I think they thought I wouldn’t last, but it’s nothing like that at all. I’ve always found our drivers to be so supportive and three-and-a-half years later I’m still here and loving it.
“I was given the opportunity to stand-in for a colleague in a transport manager role, which I have now progressed into, and I’m currently gaining experience standing in as a developing logistics manager at my site in Hemel Hempstead.
“Gist has supported me 100% since day one and my team are absolutely great. We have a lot of women in our office but I was nervous when I first started as logistics, particularly transport, is stereotypically male dominated, and I was a female starting with little knowledge and experience.
“I think across the logistics industry as a whole we need to continue to highlight and celebrate the work woman are doing to help break down that stereotype because it is definitely not male industry.”
Sam Rawlings, swapped a career as a pub manager to become an HGV driver when she joined Gist in Portbury. She says: “Being a driver is something I wanted to do but when people make comments, it makes you even more determined to do it. When I did my theory exam, the lady at the test centre said to me “are you going for your horsebox [licence]?”. She just assumed I wouldn’t be capable because of my stature.
“It can be quite daunting as a female driver coming into the industry as it is a male dominated sector but I found my colleagues were very supportive and I have received great support from a fellow female driver at another Gist site.
“Since becoming an HGV driver I have joined a couple of groups on social media for women drivers, which has created a community, and there are a lot of us about. I think the more women see females in this role and doing this type of job, the more they will be inspired to join us.”