Industry views | 15 June 2018
As the FTA Everywoman in Transport & Logistics award winners are announced, we speak to finalist, Jayne Bellamy about her career and her goal to ensure it is an industry young people aspire to work in.
Hi Jayne. First of all, many congratulations on being a finalist in the everywoman awards. Tell us a little about your career to date:
I left school and went out to work aged 16. My mum worked locally at a company called Rigid Containers and she secured me some temping work. During my time there, a position came up as a Dispatch Clerk which I was offered and took. This was in 1991 and marked the beginning of my career in the transport & logistics world.
It was an unintentional career path initially. But as time went on I learned more, extended my capabilities and experience, then I was hooked. I loved the challenging environment, the opportunity it presented and, above all, I resonated with the people.
In 1994, I became a Transport Supervisor at Wincanton and a few years later was promoted to Transport Manager, one of the first women to do so in the business. In 2000, after successfully managing several transport contracts, I was promoted to Contract Distribution Manager – my biggest challenge yet which required a move to Somerset, some 200 miles from my family and friends.
I now work at Wincanton as Contract Distribution Manager for Argos in Kettering. My first challenge was to oversee one of the retailer’s biggest change projects, transitioning the site from being simply a ‘pallets in, pallets out’ depot to a full order picking operation, with headcount rising over 100 per cent, from 300 colleagues to 650.
What initially attracted you to working in transport & logistics?
It was the pace of the working environment and the fact that two days were never the same. There was always a new challenge or project to get to grips with.
What aspects of the job do you find the most challenging, and rewarding?
The increasingly demanding retail market makes our business challenging on a daily basis. But I work with a great team and we address and overcome these challenges together. Working with this brilliant team of people is the most rewarding aspect of the job.
What have you seen as the main barriers to entry for women in the industry? Do you think things are getting better?
Transport & logistics has traditionally been a male dominated industry; and still is to a great extent. What is required is a cultural change across the board with mechanisms that support women wanting to enter the industry and those looking to progress in their career.
We need to reassure our female colleagues in the industry that they are taken seriously, that there is great opportunity and that, if they want to strive to be leaders, they can be. It feels like the tide is turning, with more focus on inclusion now than ever before, but there is still much to do.
How can we make transport and logistics an industry that young people aspire to work in?
We have to do more to show young people what they can become with role models from across the industry. As an industry, we need to be getting out into schools and colleges, speaking to students about the opportunities across transport & logistics. Most will have little or no experience of the industry so we need to show them what they can do and ultimately, what they can be.
We need to demonstrate that logistics is far more than ‘lorries and warehouses’. It is an industry at the cutting edge of technology; digitisation, robotics and the Internet of Things are increasingly common place. The apps and devices we are familiar with in our personal lives are now common place in business environments – and in logistics more than most.
Across our business, we have a number of initiatives where we present to students, bring them on site and offer them experience of our working world. At Wincanton, we are currently involved in an initiative called ‘Think Logistics’ where we have links with a number of local schools. We spend time presenting to and talking to the students and also offer mentoring for those who are considering a career in the industry.
The feedback we get is overwhelmingly positive.
To find out more about a career in logistics at Wincanton, visit www.wincanton.co.uk/careers