A Takeaway from the Toronto Transportation Club’s Lunch & Learn: Women in Transportation

Women in TransportationTwo days ago, a couple of people from the Morai Logistics team attended the Toronto Transportation Club’s (TTC) Lunch and Learn. The theme for this event was on Women in Transportation. I have decided to guest blog this week in order to talk about the overall experience and the takeaways from the keynote speakers which, by the way, were excellent.

My very first impression when walking into this Lunch and Learn was, “Wow! There are a LOT of women in the transportation industry in Toronto!” which was both surprising and refreshing to see. My overall impression of the logistics industry is that it is primarily male. Now, I’ve been to previous TTC events and I have noticed that the majority of the people you see are men. It was nice to see the contrast from previous events I’ve attended to what I saw that day.

The second thing that I noticed was the sense of camaraderie and empowerment in the atmosphere, there was a strong sense of unity – but in such a way that it also felt inclusive. It felt good to know that the Lunch and Learn successfully sold out their tickets to an event that provided a sense of openness and acceptance, especially considering I was one of the few males attending the event!

Killer Swag
Killer Swag

Apart from the great food and the killer swag (which, for obvious reasons went to my mother!), the best part of this entire experience was the fact that I was able to hear from three great female leaders in the transportation industry, including Morai Logistics’ very own Kelli Saunders. For this blog post I would like to feature the takeaway points from these stellar keynotes from inspiring women.

Jacquie Meyers on Balancing Work-Life Balance

Jacquie Meyers took over the family business when she was just 27 years old. As the President of Meyers Transportation Services (MTS), she has shown true leadership and devotion to the logistics industry. In her years of experience as a female leader in transportation, her keynote speech imparts wisdom on the biggest challenge she has had: maintaining a work-life balance. Her biggest take-away was to create a list of priorities that are must-dos; start with a list of things that you definitely have to commit to, and a list of things that are not as highly prioritized. As time passes, you will get better and better at managing your commitments so that you can comfortably achieve a better work-life balance as a woman in management.

Fiona Murray on Asserting Your Achievements and Looking Out for Each Other

Fiona Murray is the Vice President of Corporate Marketing at CN, her speech gave a great piece of insight on women’s rise to the top. She noted, with what I noticed had a majority of heads nodding in the audience, that women are very willing and ready to tackle the challenged of climbing but seldom express their interest or take credit for their achievements. She notes that people in management are not going to be aware of your desire to climb the corporate ladder if you do not express the interest to your managers and bosses. This, combined with the fact that women are noticeably less likely to take credit for their achievements in the office are two critical factors that can stifle your career progress as a woman. She finishes her keynote with a final piece of advice: women are still a minority in management, it is important that they look out for each other in the work place.

Kelli Saunders on Owning Your Identity and Finding a Mentor

Kelli Saunders TTC Lunch and Learn Women in TransportationKelli Saunders is the President of Morai Logistics and has had over 27 years in the logistics industry, as well as an honored member of the TTC (being a former president of the club in 2010). As someone who has been an industry and thought leader in the logistics and supply chain industry, she offered some great insight into her rise to the top. Her first piece of advice to women everywhere is to own your status as a female in the corporate world. Dressing the part is very important; she notes how sometimes dressing like a man might not always be the best strategy for women. It is both unique and different to see a woman in management especially in the world of transportation, you should be proud of your status as female and show your personality while maintaining your professionalism. She also asserts the importance of finding a mentor. Someone to look up to for inspiration, they don’t even have to be someone you personally know. A role model gives you that extra bit of motivation to nudge you into the right direction of a successful career.

As a male attendee, I found the event welcoming and I noticed that the advice was well received by everyone, including the men in the audience. The speakers were passionate and expressed genuine interest in the success of everyone in that room and I hope that all women reading this today can take the advice from the amazing keynote speakers and use it to forward their careers.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Toronto Transportation Club and what they do, don’t hesitate to visit their site! If you’re interested in what Morai Logistics does in the world of transportation, visit their services page and see how they can take the chaos out of your supply chain. If you like the Morai Logistics blog, please feel free to subscribe to their feed or check them out on Twitter! Cheers!

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