The Canadian government is making a significant investment into providing financial support and opportunity to women entrepreneurship.

On Friday, October 19th, 2018, Canadian Export, Promotion Minister, Mary Ng, announced a $20 million government fund toward supporting women in business. This contribution is in addition to an $85 million Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem fund implemented last month. Women entrepreneurs could receive up to $100,000 toward growing their businesses.

According to Statistics Canada, there is a direct link between business ownership and ‘innovation, job creation and productivity growth’. Women entrepreneurs are considered an integral driver to the economy. However, ‘access to venture capital funding’ is a top barrier for women business owners in Canada. In comparison to their male counterparts, there is still evidence of gender inequalities that make business ownership challenging.

The creation of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy is a progressive step forward. This article looks at the current barriers women entrepreneurs face in start-ups and the key benefits of supporting their ventures.

Women Entrepreneurship Strategy

Government initiatives, procurement and community support bring positive solutions to combating barriers women face. The goal of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy is to help women from diverse backgrounds start-up and scale their businesses. Funding will also provide women with networking opportunities, mentorship resources and access to financial help.

The program gives ‘indigenous women, women with disabilities, recent immigrants, visible minorities and women in rural or remote regions’ priority. Specific sectors that are key contributors to the economy, such as advanced manufacturing, digital and international ventures, will be taken into consideration first. By 2025, this funding should ‘double the amount of women-owned and women-led businesses’ in Canada. Initiatives like this are necessary for helping them overcome barriers.

Barriers to Women-Owned Start-Ups

While funding is a top barrier, gender inequality continues to challenge women’s progression. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that are majority-owned by women, only represent less than 16% of Canadian businesses. When it comes to launching a new company or scaling up, there is still a difference in accessibility to external investors. In an article written by Global News,

Almost half the women surveyed as part of the study reported that they had trouble securing the external investment needed to scale, whereas almost 70 per cent of men surveyed said they found it easier.

Launching a business or scaling up requires start-up capital and financial support. While many ambitious sole proprietors want to do it on their own, this isn’t always possible. In fact, 70% of surveyed women stated they financed their small business through ‘personal credit card debt’.

When it comes to pitching a business, the statistics are no different. Women who made the same business proposal were funded ‘32% of the time’, whereas men were considered ‘68% of the time’. These differences in financial opportunity can hinder their ability to start their own ventures. It’s important for government initiatives to step in and provide support as women make considerable contributions to the economy.

Women are Economic Drivers

Earlier this year, Morai Logistics, discussed the importance of supporting supplier diversity in Canadian business. Within this article we highlighted women’s contributions to the economy. Findings indicate that ‘nearly 1 million Canadian women business owners’ contribute to ‘more than $117 billion annually to the Canadian economy’.

Speaking on the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, Senior advisor on the Canadian Economic Growth Council, Carol Anne Hilton, shared her perspective. She believes that women ‘focus on human experience, on relationship’, which she believes is a ‘missing part of the equation. As business owners and leaders, women contribute something very unique to the table. For instance, they are collaborative and enjoy working together to achieve business objectives. Their ability to adapt also enables them to stay resilient and ahead of changing markets.

In order to drive the development of women owned businesses, continued funding through initiatives such as the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy must continue. It’s important to provide equal opportunity to women and minority groups and remove systemic barriers that disable them from driving our economy.


As a woman-owned business, Morai Logistics identifies has always kept track of the status of women in the logistics and supply chain industry. This is an update to how the industry as a whole has evolved with regards to the gender gap.

Over the last four years, the logistics industry has seen a significant transformation from the integration of new technologies. As a result, the industry requires a labor force of workers with a dynamic skillset to help them succeed in the digital workplace.

Research found that ‘71% of global supply chain professionals believe women have a different natural skillset’ in comparison to men. In addition, 91% of respondents felt that these skillsets are ‘advantageous to working within supply chain management’.

Podcast Feature: Let’s Talk Supply Chain

Kelli Saunders, president of Morai Logistics, sat down with host of Let’s Talk Supply Chain, Sarah Barnes to discuss women and millennials in supply chains. The podcast identified challenges that have turned women away from exploring the industry, persuading them to pursue education and professions in ‘traditional’ roles. Kelli Saunders states that “we (as women) have so much to give” and being complacent in areas where we can’t explore further should change.

Women are encouraged by Saunders to take the leap and develop the courage to go after opportunities by believing they are worthy and qualified. This infographic takes a contemporary look at the current gender gap in North American supply chains, and identifies the positive contributions women create.

Take a listen on the podcast below:

We also have resources available from the podcast here:

Re-Examining the Evolution of Women in Logistics

We’ve decided to focus this week’s infographic on updating the status of women in the logistics and supply chain industry and re-explored the gender gap. Generally speaking, we take a look at positions in education, the workforce, salaries, and listed the advantages presented by having a diverse workforce that includes women.


That’s it for us this week! We loved having our president on Let’s Talk Supply Chain and collaborating with Sarah Barnes was awesome. Feel free to check out her other podcasts on the logistics and supply chain industry (we particularly enjoy her Women in Supply Chain Series) here:



The Morai Logistics team would like to wish everyone a Happy International Women’s Day. We’re so proud of all the accomplishments that has been achieved leading up to this point, especially in our industry, and are excited to see the progress that the future holds for women everywhere.

To all women out there, whatever you are doing, this day is for you!


Image Source: Women’s Executive Network

President of Morai Logistics, Kelli Saunders, is Awarded 2017 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 in the Entrepreneurship category by Women’s Executive Network (WXN).

On November 23rd, 2017, president of Morai Logistics, Kelli Saunders, was honoured with the 2017 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award. This award was presented to 1005 noteworthy women with achievements in leadership positions in the private, public and not-for-profit sector. Saunders expresses what the award truly represents,

The “Unbreakable” theme of this year’s Leadership Summit and Awards Gala focused on how together, women can create change. United, we exhibit an undying ability to persevere through periods of challenge enable us to come out with a more powerful sense of purpose and drive.

This recognition further demonstrates women’s ability to break barriers of inequality, while showing by example, the possibilities for aspiring women and underrepresented social groups.

Defining Power

Being honoured as one of ‘Canada’s Most Powerful Women’ is remarkable and truly is in itself: powerful. However, the term “power” can be defined in a variety of ways, changing over time depending on social context. In 2011, business and women’s leadership writer, Jenna Goudreau, joined a team of colleagues interviewed the world’s Power Women of 2011. They wanted to understand how they defined power, and of the nine responses included the common themes were as follows:

  • Believing in and following core values
  • Being motivational and influential
  • Having the responsibility to help others
  • Creating a positive impact

The 2017 Leadership Summit celebrated the incredible achievement and contributions of Canadian women in power today. Presentations on professional development and the unique experiences and challenges women continue to face, channels us to examine current definitions of power.

The equality of women was quoted in an article on CBC News, that the equal fairness and advancement of women in the workforce “is a societal issue, it’s not a women’s issue”. Therefore, there is no denying the responsibility women in power have to motivate and inspire future business leaders from all socio-economic backgrounds and demographics. The quality of women in the workforce has also come a long way over the last three decades.

Progress toward Equality

The Canadian workforce has facilitated a slow and steady progression for women to earn higher positions and leadership roles. Statistics Canada reports that one obstacle explaining the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions over the years, has been “the association of leadership with assertive, decisive, and independent behaviours that are generally deemed to be the purview of men.”

Since the late 1980’s, women with positions in higher managerial roles, represented a lower percentage of the workforce compared to men. However, in 2015 research reported the following progressive statistics:

  • ‘54% of legislators and senior government managers and officials were women’
  • ‘25.6% of senior managers in the private sector were women’

Women have responded to barriers of inequality with a consistent effort to achieve more, while advocating for the equal and collective recognition of hard work and success. However, the need for further procurement and support to help women advance in the workforce is important.

Logistics and Supplier Diversity

This past October, Morai Logistics explained why supplier diversity programs are beneficial for changing markets. The article identified that supplier diversity supports women, minorities and those who identify as LGBT or people with a disability, who own at least 51% of a business or non-profit organization’.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was a noted benefit. New trends in consumer buying behaviors suggest customers gravitate toward businesses that contribute to the community. The implementation of supplier diversity programs actually attract customers to buy products or services. Therefore, businesses under the leadership of women, or those defined above, are brands that value the community.

The Power to Change Together

A ‘lack of female role models to emulate and serve as mentors’, was an obstacle facing women in leadership roles and occupational mobility in the past. However, the 2017 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award, represents more than recognition for Morai Logistics. It exemplifies a progressive movement to meeting the increasing demands of supply chain markets and generating greater customer satisfaction. It confirms that change is current, actionable and possible. Finally, it identifies that women of power, who exemplify ‘unbreakable grit’, are not only adept to lead successful businesses – they are required.


Yesterday was International Women’s Day (IWD), a celebration and tribute to women’s rights. This year marked the 108th anniversary of IWD.

IWD 2017’s goal is to speed up the timeline in reaching parity between men and women in opportunity, wages and leadership representation. According to the World Economic Forum, it’ll be nearly 170 years before the gender gap is closed. That’s a long time to wait for equality.

Let’s have a look at how far women have come. Both in the workplace and in field of logistics.

Women Internationally

Women have made tremendous progress across the globe in terms of rights and in the workforce. However, the last few years haven’t been as promising.

Despite an additional quarter billion women entering the workforce since 2006, women are a third less likely to participate than a man. In fact, in the ten years between 1995 and 2015, globally, women’s labour force participation dropped over 2%. Representation in administrative roles isn’t much better as women only hold 12% of the world’s board seats according to a report by Deliotte.

The disparity continues in wages. Globally, women earn around a third less than what men earn.

Women in North America

The numbers are a little more optimistic if you narrow the scope to just North America.

In Canada and the U.S for example, the difference between the number of men and women in the workforce was 9.6% and 12.4% respectively.

The two countries show very different numbers when it comes to women in management positions. Women hold around 35% of management and professional roles in Canada, whereas in the U.S, the number goes up to 51%.

Only modest gains have in regards to the number of women serving as Fortune 500 CEO’s. There’s only 24 women (4.8%) in the top levels of these companies. However, Fortune is reporting that the number is increasing to 27 by the end of first quarter 2017. While still low, these numbers are big improvement over 20 years ago, when women were completely absent from these positions.

Women in Logistics

The logistics industry continues to struggle with equality. There are several reasons for this, but a root cause is perception. It’s hard for the industry to escape the perception that it’s all about heavy lifting and moving. This image problem has affected the number of women seeking out a career in logistics.

Currently, around 65% of graduates going into the logistics field are male. Only 35% of graduates are female. The difference is the greatest of any business field. The number drops to 5% when looking at women in logistics holding top level positions.

These figures are troubling not just from an equality perspective, but from a business point of view as well. Financial performance significantly improves if there’s at least 30% women in higher-level leadership positions according to a 2009 report by McKinsey.

Women have come a long way since the first IWD 108 years ago. Organizations are increasingly seeing the value of having qualified women on their teams, from entry-level to CEO positions. The logistics industry especially has a lot of work left. But, we’re confident that as the industry continues to modernize, the number of female leaders will grow as well.

That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

Nominated during OWIT (Organization of Women in International Trade) Toronto’s Annual Awards Ceremony, where Kelli Saunders of Morai Logistics Inc. wins Woman Exporter of the Year.

Toronto, ON (June 16,2016)

On Thursday, June 9th 2016, Kelli Saunders, President of Morai Logistics Inc., an Authorized Agent of Mode Transportation, was the recipient of The Woman Exporter of the Year Award from OWIT-Toronto (Organization of Women in International Trade-Toronto). Nominees had to have at least 50% ownership of a profitable business registered and operating in Ontario for more than 3 years. Nominees also had to have earned their primary income from the business and must have been responsible for its daily operations. A significant portion of her company’s business had to have come from exporting products or services.

The Woman Exporter of the Year Award honors an outstanding woman entrepreneur who, through her exporting endeavors, is advancing women and the image of Canadian business women in the international community.

Network and Cherish Those Around You.

Kelli was presented this award for her company’s work with major fast-moving consumer goods companies as a third-party logistics provider with expertise in cross-border intermodal logistics in the US and Mexico.

Jim Damman, President of Mode Transportation, said:

We are all very excited for Kelli. She is an outstanding businesswoman, and she and her team do a great job of providing the best export solutions to her valued customers. This award is very well deserved. Her hard work in receiving this award is something that makes all of us very proud.

Kelli’s advice to other women is to network and cherish those around them. Surrounding yourself with energetic high achievers will give you the foundation for a strong, career-long network from which to grow.

Shown above is Kelli’s acceptance speech.

ABOUT OWIT TORONTO: OWIT-Toronto (Organization of Women in International Trade) is a non-profit professional organization designed to promote women doing business internationally, by providing networking opportunities, export education and global business contacts. Members include women entrepreneurs, service providers and business women involved in international trade.

That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.


By Lisa Henthorn

Virtually impenetrable not all that long ago, the “glass ceiling” blocking women from executive-level jobs in the logistics and supply chain industry appears to be shattering.
Though few (if any) people in our industry would argue that our historic gender bias has gone away, the outlook for women is considerably brighter these days than it was when Industry Week made this bleak observation a little over two years ago:

Half of the human population is female. More than half of all university students in the United States are female. Around a third of all MBA students, including those concentrating on supply chain studies, are female. And yet, when (we) did a manual count of top supply chain executives in Fortune 500 companies, we found only 22 women among 320 businesses that had a true supply chain function.

22 out of 320? That’s a definitive “F-minus,” but there’s growing evidence that our industry’s grade on gender equality is improving. Among the most significant signs: U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx appointed Michelle Livingstone to a two-year term on the National Freight Advisory Committee.
Livingstone, by the way, is VP of Transportation for Home Depot. As such, she’s on a growing roster of females who hold top-level logistics posts at high-profile companies. The list also includes:

These executives deserve our applause. And the companies that gave them their respective titles should get a pat on the back, too. Why? If for no other reason, it’s because they decided to break with the “old-boy network” tradition that lingers on in our industry and give leadership roles to the people most qualified to have them. This simply makes good business sense, and in light of our industry’s ominous talent shortage, that’s especially true.

In other words, as we look for answers to the labor shortage, there’s no time like the present to tap the female labor pool.

Lisa Henthorn is a vice president at Eyefreight, a provider of transportation management system technology. Lisa can be reached at

About Eye Freight

The Eyefreight SaaS TMS is a Level 5 TMS, providing shippers with a control tower for central coordination and detailed visibility over multi-modal, multi-leg, international logistics. Eyefreight runs proprietary algorithms to manage and monitor the entire logistics process – optimizing inventory allocation and distribution planning, and unlocking traditional bottlenecks within the logistics function.

Globalization has broken through several technological, political, and geographic barriers to supply chain logistics. However, while its been documented that companies that include more women at the top levels of leadership tend to outperform those that don’t, there is still a noticeably large gender gap when it comes to the logistics industry.

Although there has been a great deal of progress in the last few decades in closing the gender gap, this infographic shows that there is still a lot left to do.

Closing the gap for good shouldn’t be thought of as barrier for those of us in logistics, but rather an opportunity. An opportunity for logistics companies, as Shalu Shigram puts it, ‘to maintain a competitive edge by utilizing all human resources and potential capital.”

Top 10 Facts Exploring the Gender Gap Around the World


That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news!

This past Sunday was International Women’s Day. In tribute to celebrating women globally, we would like to dedicate this week’s post to showcasing the major milestones in recent development for the state of women in the logistics and supply chain industry.

Last year we posted an infographic that the logistics community wholeheartedly enjoyed and we thought we would continue the trend and release an update, this time in the form of an eBook. We have come a long way from the world of logistics notoriously being known as a Gentleman’s Club, but we still have a ways to go when it comes to diversity in logistics (and not just with women).

From education, job options, and position within companies, we take a careful look at contemporary findings and showcase the statistics behind women in the logistics industry for 2015.

Women in Logistics


That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news!

We hope everyone has had a great holiday and we would like to wish all of our readers a Happy New Year! To kick off the year, we have finished compiling our infographic on the top logistics and supply chain facts from the news that we’ve collected throughout last year. As there is a large number of news items spanning the many large topics in the logistics industry, we decided to create our Top 10 by focusing on categories:

  1. Drones
  2. Same-Day Deliver
  3. Supplier Diversity and Women
  4. Sustainability
  5. RFID
  6. World Bank Institute’s Private Sector Platform
  7. Automation
  8. Online Retail
  9. Truck Driver Shortage
  10. Logistics Slow Growth

Each of these topics have some pretty interesting facts and statistics that may have been missed in the hustle and bustle of fellow logistics professionals and enthusiasts. And while we haven’t covered all of the interesting facts from 2014; we felt that these topics helped changes the face of the logistics and supply chain industry in 2014 and serves a good snippet to review the year.

Top 10 Logistics and Supply Chain Facts of 2014


That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news!