April 23, 2024

Dow and WEConnect International are Leading the Women in Logistics Movement

Dow and WEConnect International have joined together to further the movement to support women business owners in the logistics industry. Their important work has already led to women entrepreneurs gaining traction in the transportation field and to large corporations finding and recognizing women-owned businesses as potential suppliers. As they increase their effort, they will focus on the European region and give women-owned businesses new and otherwise unattainable opportunities for significant success and growth.

Dow has taken additional action by establishing a coalition of decision-making bodies in Europe to make long-lasting and far-reaching change for women-owned businesses in chemical transportation. Committed to furthering the Women in Logistics Movement in 2024, they will take to the road to build awareness of the existence and benefits of working with women-owned transportation companies. The events on their inclusion tour will take them across Europe and include a stop at WEConnect International’s regional conference in Paris, France where the two organizations will celebrate the ongoing program’s achievements and present its next steps.

Logistics is the process by which a product is shipped, stored, transported, and delivered to a buyer or consumer. Encompassing all modes of transport and affecting all major industries, its efficiency and effectiveness is key to increasing domestic and international trade in all markets. Because of its integral and ubiquitous role, the transportation of goods is the backbone of the economy. As such, the lack of drivers and labor shortage in this industry are problems that cannot be ignored. The most obvious solution is to train and support women to enter and succeed in the transportation field. Women who work in this field have demonstrated success in their roles and provide vital perspective and insight into improving the transportation of goods and how to best incorporate sustainable practices that will help meet company, UN, and EU goals. This means that were more women employed in the logistics industry, gender equality and the use of sustainable practices would increase, and policies may change.

Although transportation is predominantly viewed as a male industry, women are employed in the sector albeit at detrimentally low numbers. It is estimated that only 10% of women are working at board level with overall female employment in the industry at less than 25%. Of the estimated 300,000 Heavy Goods Vehicles drivers in the UK, fewer than two percent are women. Although this may seem bleak, there are women who own thriving and successful transportation companies.

WEConnect International and Dow are working together to find women-owned businesses throughout Europe in the chemical logistics space. Not only have they found several already, they discovered companies have more women suppliers in their supply chain than they realize. They have also reached new women business owners that would benefit from WEConnect International’s support. For example, their dedication led to WEConnect International awarding its first certifications in two countries new to the organization and to enhanced partnerships with other eco-friendly transportation suppliers. WEConnect International and Dow had the privilege and pleasure of supporting the women leading these companies as they pursued certification and demonstrated to large companies that they are qualified, capable, and reliable. As both WEConnect International and Dow can attest, these women entrepreneurs are that and so much more.

Despite their potential and influence, women-owned businesses receive a tiny fraction (less than 1%) of large buyer spend and face challenges in accessing markets, finance, and networks. This is not only unfair, but a huge waste of human capital and economic opportunity. Dow and WEConnect International are building a movement to change that. By finding and supporting women business owners in logistics, they are increasing their visibility, providing them with the recognition they justly deserve, and initiating meetings between them and large corporations.

Recently, WEConnect International had four women entrepreneurs who are currently supplying Dow with transportation services pitch to well-known companies in the chemical industry. Two of these women are in the next stage of talks with these large corporations. Using these and other past successes to inform their work, Dow and WEConnect International will increase their efforts to find women entrepreneurs in logistics and give women-owned businesses opportunities to promote their services to buyers from influential corporations. They will also help companies discover the women-owned businesses already in their supply chain as well as learn how they can join the movement by furthering their women suppliers.

By making these women-owned businesses visible to corporations and the public, Dow and WEConnect International are spurring the innovation that comes from fair competition that is crucial to driving economic growth. They are also building awareness that women in the transportation industry are successful and provide beneficial insight and perspective. This is needed as women are often the decision maker behind purchases. Companies that do not hire women for leadership roles are not as well positioned to serve consumers as those with more gender-diverse boards. Women leaders are also more likely to hire other women in higher paying jobs and make a greater impact in improving gender equality. Were the gender workforce equality gap to close, the GDP could increase 26% and people everywhere could have a higher quality of life.

Dow and WEConnect International are building a movement to improve the financial wealth and stability of women in logistics. They recognize that the women business owners they help have an entrepreneurial spirit and drive to succeed. They know women do not have the same chance as men to provide financially for their families. They also know women hire more women. When that happens and women have stable income, they are more likely to invest their wealth in their families, education, and in their communities. Women, in short, are a key means to solving several of our world’s most difficult and pressing problems. Women-owned businesses in transportation need additional support as they often go overlooked and because changes in logistics have the power to affect all other industries.

These are just a few reasons why the movement Dow and WEConnect International is building is necessary. As these two organizations continue to find and support women-owned businesses in transportation and as they meet with companies to explore how they could further support the women business owners already in their supply chain or add new ones, they need to recruit others to expand their outreach and ensure all women-business owners get the chance at success that they deserve. Dow and WEConnect International are excited and prepared to work with women entrepreneurs and large corporations to make a meaningful and measurable difference.

More information about this work can be found on Dow’s website.

Donations to support the cause can be made to WEConnect International here.