Is logistics lacking female representation?

The diversity of people working in the Middle East’s logistics industry is well-known. We’ve successfully attracted an eclectic mixture of people, covering a range of different nationalities, religious backgrounds and educational achievements. The varied nature of the logistics industry is clearly suffering from a serious void. Where, exactly, are the women?

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By  Robeel Haq Published  September 3, 2006

|~|logistics_women.jpg|~||~|The diversity of people working in the Middle East’s logistics industry is well-known. We’ve successfully attracted an eclectic mixture of people, covering a range of different nationalities, religious backgrounds and educational achievements. Unfortunately, the varied nature of the industry is clearly suffering from a serious void. Where, exactly, are the women? It seems the only ladies working in the offices of logistics companies are receptionists or lower level management. The chances of finding a female CEO are slim. In fact, the chances are virtually non-existent. Does this mean the male-dominated logistics industry should be labelled sexist? Not really. We are simply not attracting enough women to consider a management career in supply chain management. However, there is some good news. The number of women climbing up the ranks of logistics companies in the Middle East and signing-up for supply chain management courses is growing. Slowly, but steadily. Whilst this development is heartening, the industry also needs some female role models to provide further encouragement to the younger generation. Thankfully, the cover of this issue’s Logistics Middle East magazine features one of the industry’s most respected and powerful women: Salma Hareb, the chief executive officer of the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (Jafza). Salma’s career is a fascinating story. From humble beginnings as a planning officer at Jafza, she quickly impressed the organisation’s senior management and become the first female CEO of a free zone in the Middle East, and possibly the world. During our exclusive interview, Salma admits her management style is different to her male counterparts. However, this has not created any barriers to her role. She has still developed Jafza into one of the world’s most successful free zones, gaining the unanimous respect of the industry along the way. And this month, Salma has added another feather to her cap. She’s become the first woman featured on the cover of Logistics Middle East. The first, we hope, of many more to come. If you have any comments to make on this month’s issue, we’d love to hear from you. Send your views to robeel.haq@itp.com||**||

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