Women’s Day 2024: Inspiring Inclusion

This Women's Day, Aritco explores the theme "Inspiring Inclusion" looking at ways we can dismantle the barriers for women in traditionally male-dominated roles.

This year’s Women’s Day theme is “Inspiring Inclusion”, which offers the opportunity to reflect on how we at Aritco can inspire more women to join our team, particularly in positions where they have been historically underrepresented. Aritco’s HR Business Partner, Josefin Plan, shares her reflections on our ongoing journey, our challenges and successes, and the steps we are taking to ensure Aritco is not only a place where women work but where they thrive and excel.

What are the challenges you face in attracting female talent?

“Attracting female candidates to roles traditionally dominated by men isn’t easy. Research and experience show that when you have a job listing that includes, say, ten qualifications. If a woman doesn’t meet all ten, she might not apply. Whereas a man might meet three qualifications and think it’s the perfect job for him. So, that’s why we wanted to look at how we create our job listings to try to focus on cultural/personality fit not just experience.

“It’s important to recognize that if you’re evaluating candidates based on experience alone, women in nontraditional roles may be at a disadvantage due to having had access to fewer opportunities.”

What are some of the ways Aritco is working to overcome these challenges?

“Since 2023, we’ve adopted a more systematic approach to recruitment. We use a tool called Predictive Index, which assesses behaviors and motivations. This helps us look beyond the resume to understand how a candidate’s personal attributes match the job requirements. The Predictive Index helps us assess candidates more objectively, ensuring we choose the best fit for the job.”

And going beyond the job application, how do these assessments help further in the recruitment process?

“This tool is also used across teams to understand each member’s drives and how we can work together more effectively. It helps us identify what personalities or traits we might be missing when recruiting, allowing for a more diverse and complementary team.

“When we meet someone in an interview, it’s almost impossible not to become biased. However, using these assessments has helped guide us to be more objective. Instead of being swayed by a good first impression, we focus on whether the candidate truly fits the role, looking at their personality and how they would mesh with the team.

“It’s much easier for us to grasp the different dimensions of a role, rather than just looking at, ‘Oh, you need to have ten plus years of experience with this, five years experience in leadership.”

What other challenges does Aritco face when trying to “Inspire Inclusion”?

“Like many companies in our industry, we have a long way to go. And recruitment is just one part of this big puzzle. This is something we’re constantly trying to figure out ways to improve.

However, we’ve realized that another way we can encourage more women to join our team is by sharing the stories of other women in the company.”

Katarina’s Story

Katarina Sawma has worked as Logistics Manager at Aritco for three years and counting. Leading an all-male team in a traditionally male role isn’t new for her, but she has also seen how leading by example can inspire and encourage other women to apply to these male-dominated positions.

Hi Katarina! Can you tell us about your role at Aritco and what it entails?

“Certainly, as the logistics manager at Aritco, I oversee a team of nine. We handle all incoming materials, taking charge the moment a delivery truck docks at our facility. From ensuring the timely delivery of materials to overseeing their distribution to production, my team ensures the seamless operation of our supply chain. Beyond the logistical aspects, I’m also deeply involved in HR responsibilities, focusing on my team’s development and well-being.”

What is your educational and professional background?

“I started working at a major retail chain as a summer worker in 2004, and at the same time, I applied to a program in Business Development for Retail. I worked there for over 16 years, and during that time, something sparked an interest in logistics. I was the department manager, but I felt called to logistics because logistics is the foundation of everything. If logistics doesn’t work, then sales won’t work and the business won’t work.”

What made you join Aritco, and what has your experience been like?

“Honestly, I was just ready for a new challenge and this seemed like an interesting one. I also wanted to switch to a job that was more of a Monday-Friday position.

I really enjoy it here. What’s so fun about Aritco is that I have more influence and can develop new things. I’m encouraged to try new stuff and take initiative, which is great.”

Reflecting on your journey, what have been the major challenges and triumphs in your career, especially in leadership roles within logistics?

“Leading teams is always a mixed bag, gender aside. You’ve got to handle all sorts of personalities and find the right way to get everyone moving in the same direction. My time has been filled with learning, from proving myself in the beginning to building a team culture that’s inclusive and productive.”

What do you think can be done to encourage more women to consider a career in logistics?

 “I think one way we can encourage more women to explore all job types is by encouraging them to apply even if the role is traditionally male-dominated. I don’t feel like there are women’s jobs and men’s jobs. The roles should be open to all genders.

“One argument is that physical jobs are for men. But, I think then we need to look at what else the job entails. I’m fairly short. Sometimes, I might need help from one of the guys on my team. But then, I offer them a lot of help and support with other tasks. Diversity in the workforce is about recognizing and utilizing the unique strengths and abilities of all individuals, regardless of gender.

“But most importantly, I think women need to see other women in these roles. Maybe that’s including women in the job posters or in the interview process. When I first considered entering logistics, I’ll admit, it was quite intimidating. At my previous company, where I was about to dive into this new role, the logistic management team and everyone I was supposed to lead were men. I was the only female logistics manager out of eight. But, it turned out to be both fun and a challenge.

“By the time I decided to move on from that position, we had reached an incredible balance – it was about an even split, with 50% women and 50% men in the logistics management team. Incredible considering I was the only woman when I started in the role.  Logistics managers from other markets would reach out wondering, “Wow, how did you manage to achieve that?” It’s not every day you see such gender parity in logistics. But, as I’ve come to realize, all it takes is for one woman to step up, and many more will follow.”

Aritco is always looking for new talent. If you’re looking for an exciting new opportunity to join our team, visit our LinkedIn page.



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