Pictured: Jean McKenzie, general manager for Grampian at M&H Carriers, believes there should be greater equality in the transport sector.
A leading Scottish delivery and logistics firm is calling for greater equality in the transport industry, which has traditionally been dominated by men.
M&H Carriers – which has depots in Aberdeen, Inverness, Dundee and Helmsdale – is leading the charge, with over half of the firm’s senior management positions held by women.
The firm believes that by implementing change from the top down, the industry will be seen by more women as a viable career opportunity – and has seen women’s interest in driving roles increase.
Jean McKenzie, general manager for Grampian, joined M&H Carriers in 2020.
Throughout her 40-year career, she has seen a definite shift in the way women are viewed in the transport industry.
“When I started my career, women were always overlooked for senior roles.
“When I was in my early 20s, I was promoted to traffic manager – but that was where the opportunities ended.
“At that time there was never a female depot manager – despite the fact that I used to train new managers how to do their job.”
According to non-profit industry body Women in Transport, although making up 47% of the UK workforce only 20% of the roles in the transport industry are held by women.
Jean believes that while things have changed, there is still room for continued growth.
“In the past a lot of women felt a job in transport wasn’t for them – maybe because it was such a male-dominated environment – but there has been visible change over the years.
“There are lots of women driving bigger vehicles like HGVs, which never happened in the past.
“But I would definitely like to see more women considering a career in transport.
“There are so many opportunities out there – from driving to management, office-based positions to jobs where you can roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty.
“Every day in this job presents a different challenge, and that’s what I love about it.
“Companies I have worked for in the past are very corporate, but M&H Carriers is very family-oriented – we’re a valued part of the team and more than just a number.”
A report published by the European Commission in 2018 highlighted a number of key benefits of equalising the workforce in the transport industry.
By increasing diversity, firms are able to draw on different points of view – improving decision making, creativity and innovation.
Fraser MacLean, managing director of M&H Carriers, said:
“There’s undoubtedly been a shift in the transport industry over the last few years, with more women seeing it as a viable career option.
“However, there is definitely more that can be done to improve equality in our sector.
“As an industry we need to ensure that old stereotypes are not perpetuated, and that women are given equal opportunities to progress their careers.
“By recruiting women to senior positions we are not only strengthening our business, but we are also able to provide role models and something to strive for to those just starting their career.”
M&H Carriers is a leading distributor and haulier in the north of Scotland, delivering parcels, freight, pallets and 2-man products across the country.
Working with small businesses, commercial multicarrier networks and private individuals, the firm is dedicated to ensuring businesses keep trading throughout the pandemic and into recovery.
Its depots are in Aberdeen, Inverness, Dundee and Helmsdale.