Antrim businesswoman campaigning for diversity in north's transport & logistics sector
ANTRIM businesswoman Pamela Dennison, who has forged a successful career in a predominantly male industry, is campaigning to address what she sees as the under-representation of women in the transport industry.
It comes as the mother-of-two has been appointed national regional officer for the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and vice-chair of the Freight Transport Association (FTA) regional committee for Northern Ireland.
And it follows Pamela (32) seeing off five other nominees to win the ‘Women in Transport' award at the 11th annual Fleet Transport awards banquet in Dublin last month.
The road transport industry employs 2.54 million people, around 8 per cent of the UK's workforce, and the industry contributes £124 billion to the economy.
The industry is facing huge skills gaps regarding HGV drivers, with around 64 per cent of the driver population being 45 years or older. And the sector remains heavily male-dominated, with just 1 per cent of HGV drivers in the UK being female – Pamela being one of them.
As well as having an HGV class C+E license (allowing her to drive the largest type of goods vehicle), Pamela also holds the International Certificate of Professional Competence in road transport (CPC).
Working from a young age in her father's business, specialist furniture logistics company WS Dennison, in 2012 Pamela went to work for European haulier McCulla Ireland as its compliance manager before moving to a similar role at Beatties Distribution within its specialist European pharmaceutical sector.
Pamela said: “Anyone who wants to work within transport needs to be willing to work at a fast pace, be able to think on their feet, be good at problem solving, commercially aware, intuitive to their surroundings, have a positive attitude, be a team player and a good communicator.
"The list is endless, but the difficult task is promoting the industry and demonstrating how satisfying the job can be."
As part of her roles with the FTA and the CILT, Pamela campaigns to raise the profile of the industry, both generally and specifically to young people and women.
As well as attending business networking events and visiting schools and colleges to promote the role that transport plays in everyday life, the importance it has for the economy and the variety of jobs available in the sector, she is also encouraging and supportive to those women already working in the sector.
Pamela added: “I'm proud of my unique career path but it is unfortunate that it is not a more common scenario. There are numerous different roles needed to make road transport work and there is a large pool of talented women available to tap into.
"Most women may not have thought of the transport industry being for them, but I would encourage anyone to explore the wide range of exciting and rewarding options that the sector can offer."