Aardour Worldwide Logistics: Fostering Leadership Opportunities For Women

CEO, Aardour Worldwide Logistics
“Increasing representation, closing the gender gap, and implementing targeted initiatives will empower more women to pursue careers in logistics, fostering leadership opportunities, entrepreneurship, and skill development for a more inclusive and diverse workforce.”

Sarini Sachdeva, CEO, Aardour Worldwide Logistics

I was involved in several projects during the Covid pandemic which were very critical in nature.

When Remdesivir (considered to be a lifesaving drug) was in acute shortage in India, I assisted the Indian Government in arranging a chartered plane to transport the Remdesivir at a temperature of 2-8 Degrees. Challenges were tremendous due to the lockdown, but we were able to overcome them.

I was also involved in the transportation of the Sputnik vaccine from Russia to India for Dr. Reddy’s. This project was critical due to the temperature requirements (-30 degrees Celsius) throughout its supply chain. Given India's hot climate, there were very few solutions that we could rely on.

While representing German company va-Q-tec in India, we provided passive temperature-controlled packaging. These EURO pallets fit into airline ULDs. Initially, these containers were preconditioned and transported from Germany to Russia in temperature-controlled vehicles. The Sputnik vaccines were then loaded in Russia and airlifted to Hyderabad. Subsequently, these containers were taken to Dr. Reddy's facility. Fortunately, we managed to maintain the required temperature of -30 degrees Celsius throughout the supply chain, without using batteries.

Gender bias, stereotypes, unequal pay, and a lack of representation in leadership positions are challenges encountered by women in the field of logistics.

It is very difficult for a man to accept that women can do better than him. For women pursuing a career in logistics, overcoming this bias often involves advocating for equal opportunities, building a supportive network, and showcasing one’s skills and achievements. Promoting diversity and inclusion within the industry, along with fostering a culture of equality, can help address and even overcome such challenges.

The logistics industry continues to grapple with the issue of unequal pay. Young women entering the field should actively advocate for themselves, negotiate salaries confidently, and be aware of their market value. Employers need to prioritize transparent compensation practices, regularly review pay structures, and address any gender-based pay disparities. Emphasizing diversity and inclusion initiatives within companies can help create an environment where pay parity is a priority, ensuring that women receive equal compensation for their contributions in the logistics sector.

The best way to manage work-life is to accept there is no perfect work life balance.

The best advice I can give to young women is to make time for yourself and your loved ones and set boundaries for work hours. Embrace challenges with confidence; your diverse perspective and continuous learning will drive success in a dynamic industry like logistics.

Young women aspiring to pursue a career in logistics, I would advise them to seek employers with supportive policies, communicate your needs openly, and prioritize self-care to prevent burnout. Building a strong support network and considering flexible work arrangements can contribute to a healthier work-life balance.

innovation in the logistics industry

Technological advancements have brought forth a new era of efficiency and innovation in the logistics industry.

Automation has significantly impacted warehouse operations, with the introduction of robotics and automated systems for tasks like sorting, packing, and inventory management. This has not only improved accuracy but has also increased the speed at which goods move through the supply chain.

Real-time data tracking through the Internet of Things (IoT) and sensors has enhanced visibility in logistics. From monitoring the condition of goods during transit to tracking the location of vehicles, IoT provides valuable insights that help in optimizing routes, reducing delays, and improving overall decision-making.

Big data analytics enables demand forecasting, route optimization, and inventory management. By analysing vast datasets, logistics companies can make data-driven decisions, minimizing risks and maximizing operational efficiency. Blockchain technology has brought about transparency and security in logistics operations. It ensures an immutable record of transactions, reducing the risk of fraud and errors in areas like documentation, payments, and traceability.

Mobile technologies and cloud computing have facilitated real-time communication and collaboration among stakeholders in the supply chain. Mobile apps and devices enable on-the-go access to information, empowering logistics professionals to make informed decisions, whether in the warehouse or on the road. Incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI) allows for predictive analytics, helping identify potential issues before they disrupt the supply chain. Additionally, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies are being used for training, maintenance, and improving overall warehouse operations.

Overall, these technological advancements have not only increased the efficiency of logistics operations but have also paved the way for more responsive, adaptive, and interconnected supply chain ecosystems.

The future landscape of logistics is dynamic and technology-oriented, prioritizing efficiency, sustainability, and adapting to the evolving needs of the global economy.

Effective logistics enable businesses to reach a wider market by facilitating the movement of goods across regions. This expanded market access supports business growth, promotes market competition, and contributes to the overall economic development of the country. Logistics optimization helps businesses reduce transportation, storage, and distribution costs. Logistics is essential for international trade, connecting Indian businesses to global markets.

The logistics sector is a significant source of employment, providing jobs in transportation, warehousing, distribution, and related services. Its growth drives investments in transportation infrastructure such as roads, ports, and airports. Improved infrastructure benefits various other sectors by fostering economic development.

The logistics sector generates revenue for the government through taxes and duties associated with transportation, warehousing, and other logistics activities. This revenue contributes to public infrastructure development and social welfare programs. In summary, an effective logistics ecosystem is essential for businesses to thrive, expand, and contribute to the economic development of India. It enhances competitiveness, facilitates trade, and plays a vital role in the overall success of businesses and the broader economy.

Encouraging and supporting women in the logistics industry requires collaborative efforts by both the industry and government.

The logistics sector is supporting talented and energetic women by fostering a culture where women are provided with various platforms. Government should enact and enforce legislation that mandates equal opportunities for women in hiring, promotions, and leadership roles within the logistics industry. This includes funding training programs and educational initiatives tailored to encourage women's participation in logistics and STEM fields, alongside policies promoting flexible work arrangements and affordable childcare services to support work-life balance. Gender-neutral family leave policies should be introduced to combat discrimination, while subsidies for companies promoting diversity and hiring women can incentivize change.

Collaboration with industry stakeholders is crucial to developing initiatives addressing gender disparities, alongside supporting research on diversity data for evidence-based policymaking. Facilitating access to resources and mentorship for women entrepreneurs in logistics, along with networking opportunities and professional development programs, further encourages gender parity. Through these measures, governments can create an inclusive environment, breaking down systemic barriers and advancing gender equality in logistics.
LIFTING & SPECIALIZED TRANSPORT, March - April 2024
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