FTA and everywoman launch the Accelerate Programme

March 8, 2013

everywoman and FTA (Freight Transport Association) have joined forces to create an industry wide gender diversity solution “ The FTA everywoman Accelerate Programme.

In 2013 FTA came onboard as title sponsor of the everywoman in Transport & Logistics Awards. With just 24% of the Transport and Logistics workforce being female*, both organisations are united in their commitment to address this talent deficit.

During the inaugural roundtable debate in 2012, senior industry leaders identified 4 main obstacles in achieving a more inclusive workforce.

ï‚· The image of the industry not being conducive to attracting a young talent pool fresh from formal education

ï‚· A lack of female role models in the industry

ï‚· Effectively communicating the importance and business benefits of a diverse workforce to everyone in all levels of a company

ï‚· Providing opportunity for personal development and therefore enhancing retention of the female talent pool.

In direct response to the Roundtable discussion The Freight Transport Association (FTA) and everywoman have collaborated on an industry wide programme which supports all operators in their desire to welcome a wider talent pool into the industry and support women into senior positions. This programme will address the issues identified, by:

ï‚· Uncovering female role models to improve the image of the industry

ï‚· Extending the networking outreach and influence for senior women in the industry

ï‚· Delivering flexible skills development and unlocking the potential of all female talent

ï‚· Positioning organisations as thought leaders and giving them the platform to be the voice of gender diversity in the industry

The Accelerate Programme is unique and is the only programme in the transport and logistics industry focused on building a robust and diverse talent pipeline. The programme is for organisations and operators of all sizes, and can be tailored to ensure it is in line with organisation’s gender balance aspirations and works alongside any internal activities.

It gives access to the various services that everywoman provides to support the female workforce, including: the everywomanNetwork “ an online personal development tool and the everywomanClub, where senior level women in organisations and successful entrepreneurs connect, shape business and influence change for the advancement of all women in business. In addition to this, companies can also get involved in everywoman Leadership Academies, which support the development of female talent as well as the FTA everywoman in Transport & Logistics Awards “ which uncover female role models.

There are a range of packages available, the  most comprehensive beingFounder Member “ which not only profiles the organisation as one that supports and promotes gender diversity but also ensures that all women are given exposure to personal development opportunities. Other packages are also available and organisations can get engaged on a variety of levels offering support and development to their female staff. Founding members to date include Asda and TNT.

Maxine Benson MBE, co-founder of everywoman states: It is an imperative for the transport & logistics industry to attract, retain and develop all their talented employees. With the ageing workforce exacerbating the challenge of an already weak supply chain of talent, no company can afford to be undervaluing or under-utilising the talents of 50% of the workforce – women. everywoman are delighted to be working with FTA to respond positively to this industry need. We have developed a unique and comprehensive solution to address the obstacles and ensure a robust female talent pipeline. FTA and our founder members are leading the way in addressing the talent challenge facing not only the transport and logistics industry but also all businesses today.

Theo de Pencier, Chief Executive of FTA adds: “FTA is always looking to both promote and emphasise the work of the freight and logistics industry and the essential work of the sector, not only in keeping the economy running, but also in promoting the challenging career opportunities it can provide. There are many different modes within the transport sector which have innovative systems in place and where bright people can excel. Many organisations of different sizes offer skills to those who desire to develop demonstrating the wealth of opportunities within the freight and logistics industry.”

Jill Clark, Head of Distribution People, Asda comments: Having been involved in everywoman initiatives for 3 years we are delighted to further this partnership by being a founding member of the FTA everywoman Accelerate Programme. At Asda we believe having a diverse colleague base makes us stronger and as 80% of our 18 million customers are women, it makes good business sense to ensure women are well represented at all levels of our business. For this reason we are committed to providing a framework for supporting the development of female talent “ ultimately accelerating change and improving the image of the industry. The FTA everywoman Accelerate Programme will do just that and will demonstrate that the transport & logistics sector is committed to attracting and retaining its female talent.

Alistair Cochrane, Managing Director, TNT Express UK & Ireland adds At TNT, we appreciate the key roles that women play throughout transport and logistics. TNT plays an active role in educating young people through comprehensive partnerships with schools and Business in the Community to highlight the diverse career opportunities available in the transport and logistics industry. We fully support the FTA everywoman Accelerate Programme and are delighted to be at the forefont of this initiative which is committed to improving the image of the sector and to encouraging more women to choose transport & logistics as a career path.

Des Evans, Chief Executive of MAN Truck & Bus UK MAN is proud of our long-established policy of encouraging women to enter what, for far too long, has been a male dominated industry. Along with everywoman, we are dedicated to increasing the number of women in transport and logistics. Through working with everywoman since 2008 we have seen so much progress in this area and a commitment from the industry to implement the necessary change “ to the benefit of the industry as a whole.

To find out more and get involved visit www.everywoman.com/accelerate or call Maxine Benson, everywoman co-founder, on 0207 981 2574.

FTA members receive preferential rates on packages, for further information please contact Julie Maddocks, Head of Media Relations, FTA, email:JMaddocks@fta.co.uk