Skip to main content

Tag: newsletter

Empowering Women in Tech: Insights from the team at Hermes Logistics Technologies

At a recent round-table event ahead of International Women’s Day 2024, women from Hermes Logistics Technologies (HLT) shared their insights and experiences of working in the logistics technology industry. Emphasising the importance of flexibility, supportive colleagues, and a positive work environment in their success, the attendees also discussed how to get more girls into STEM subjects and offered advice for women considering a tech career.

Flexibility is key

Offering flexibility is one proven way to diversify your workforce. And tech can provide more flexibility than many other careers. According to our contributors, one of the biggest plus points of a career at HLT is the company’s flexibility for all its employees. This arrangement is particularly beneficial for parents but also helps everyone build a healthy work-life balance.

“Right now, as a mum of two young kids, Hermes is a great company to work for,” said Upneesh Gill, who was recently promoted to Customer Relations and Delivery Manager at HLT. “The biggest benefit for me is the flexibility – it allows me to work around my busy lifestyle.”

Others agreed: “The added bonus of flexible working is a benefit I appreciate,” said Office Administrator Samantha Judge.

“Flexibility is one of the biggest draws,” added Operations Manager Caroline Ireland, “as long as you get the work done, it doesn’t matter where you are. It’s not just hybrid; it’s totally flexible, and it’s a huge advantage to be able to work from anywhere. There is give and take – you may need to rush off for something personal, but you’re trusted to deliver what’s required for your job.”

A supportive environment

Supportive colleagues and a supportive work environment were also cited as key factors in the success of the female team at HLT- which makes up 30 per cent of the workforce. A work environment where everyone feels comfortable asking questions, taking risks, and making mistakes is vital.

“From my very first day at HLT, I discovered everyone was willing to help each other,” said Senior Project Manager Helen Arrowsmith, “it’s a very supportive place to work.”

“And cooperative,” added Product Specialist Maja Holda, “everyone has something to add, and I am learning every day from the whole team.”

“I think at Hermes we’re very lucky to be part of a friendly and inclusive team – everyone is made to feel welcome and valued,” agreed Samantha.

“My colleagues have really pulled out all the stops to get me embedded into my new role,” explains Upneesh, “they saw the potential in me and have kept instilling that confidence in me – I can see that they genuinely care.”

According to Business Analyst Celma Guedes, HLT has an inclusive, nurturing culture: “It’s flexible, the team is friendly, the office environment is very healthy, the work is challenging and interesting – it’s everything you need for a long-term career.”

Driving diversity and inclusion in tech

As the women reflected on their experiences, there was a consensus that the tech industry is changing and becoming more inclusive. Still, one common theme emerged – the need for more awareness among women and girls about the different careers available in tech – it’s not all about coding.

“I wish I had known about these options earlier,” said Celma, reflecting on how she got into the industry. “There should be more information in schools – I had no idea what a business analyst was when I left school – it was a chance meeting with a stranger that drove me to make a career change, and I’m so glad I did.”

“Companies should start to use the platforms where the younger girls are to promote these careers.” She stressed the importance of reaching out through social media, especially platforms like Instagram and TikTok, to inspire the next generation of women in tech.

“The problem is that many girls don’t think it’s the girls’ thing to do,” she continued, “they don’t see tech as an option that is open to them, but in reality, these are the careers of the future that we need to be preparing all our kids for. I’m doing my bit by encouraging my younger female cousins to get into tech, but schools, parents and society all have a role to play.”

Advice for aspiring women in tech

The women of HLT had valuable advice for those considering a career in technology. They encouraged women to reach out to other women working in the sector and to connect with industry professionals. They recommended women seek out mentors and role models who can help them navigate the tech industry.

“I’ve had some very good mentors over my career. They’ve given me valuable insights and direction that have helped me grow within my roles and helped me understand the organisations I’m working in,” explained Helen. “I highly recommend anyone to seek a mentor for career guidance.”

“If you’re a woman who is thinking about a career in tech, I would say go for it,” said Maja. “It’s a great field, and women have so many opportunities to succeed. Don’t hold back – apply for jobs and see what happens. There are always people that will help you.”

Celma stressed the importance of skills such as patience, teamwork, and a willingness to learn: “You have to be natural at problem-solving, which is why I think many women are particularly well suited to this field of work,” she added.

“There’s a lot of opportunity for women to build a highly successful career in technology, including in the cargo industry. The pace of digitalisation will only pick up, and there are always new challenges and opportunities to be had,” concluded Helen.

For more information on careers at Hermes Logistics Technologies, visit our careers page.

Thank you to Caroline Ireland, Celma Guedes, Maja Holda, Samantha Judge, Upneesh Gill, and Helen Arrowsmith for their contributions to this discussion.

Voice of NextGen – Celma Guedes 

When I embarked on my adventure with Hermes, I brought four years of logistics experience, overseeing warehouse operations, managing import processes, and working as the end user for customs entries’ software. Throughout this journey, we navigated numerous software changes to optimise efficiency, constantly seeking the best solutions for our requirements. The remarkable process of reporting user-system interfaces to relevant teams and witnessing their customisation efforts was truly outstanding. I interpreted this newfound interest as a compelling signal to delve deeper in this direction, leading me to transition from a software end user to gaining a first-hand understanding of backend operations. 

I was hired as a Junior Business Analyst and Product Specialist within the Accounts Department. Having recently completed six months since joining in May 2023, the journey has been both challenging and busy, yet remarkably rewarding. Despite my non-technical background, the support of colleagues across diverse areas of expertise, along with dedicated product trainers and training materials, has proven invaluable. Thus far, I’ve acquired proficiency in navigating the system’s functionalities, empowering me to effectively address live issues and scenarios for our customers. As I continue to grow, I find myself increasingly self-sufficient in handling less complex issues, all while undergoing training to tackle more intricate scenarios. Armed with this knowledge, I’ve contributed by developing Accounts training content for our Learning Management System (LMS). 

I have been actively shadowing our accounts supervisor, immersing myself in the complexities of daily responsibilities, addressing more complex tickets, and participating in external calls with customers. Acknowledging the importance of managing extensive databases daily, I have taken the chance to undergo training in a programming language software (SQL). 

After having intentionally tried to penetrate the industry for a few months, coming from a non-technical background, I was able to see how the IT industry is not so much of an easy bubble to break into, even with the requisite qualifications. To me, Hermes stands out as an organisation committed to accepting new talent and offering opportunities to aspiring professionals seeking growth and a place in the industry. The company’s commitment to embracing emerging talent appeals to individuals like myself seeking to make a meaningful entry into the technology-driven logistics industry. 

At present, I am dedicated to reaching a higher level of expertise and confidence within my role, striving to operate at the best of my capabilities. In this pursuit, I am proactively enhancing my skill set to contribute greater value to the company. This involves undertaking more intricate responsibilities and engaging in the direct training of customers, both in remote and in-person settings. 

Story edited by