Women in logistics can be a rare find. That’s not to say women aren’t welcome in the typically male-dominated field; in fact, they often bring a valuable change of perspective.
However, many women simply do not choose careers in logistics. While there are many theories as to why this is, one thing remains for sure: Women in logistics are blazing new trails and helping to change the face of the industry with everything from initiatives that foster growth to environmental policies and even mentorship.
The following 10 women are no exception.
These Top Women in Logistics prove that women are valuable players in the logistics landscape. Here’s why.
Founder of ALOM, Hannah Kain grew her business from a single location to multiple facilities across the globe, including several new spots in 2019.
A proponent of environmental sustainability, Kain implemented programs within ALOM to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. Examples of this program include banning disposable plastic bottles across all facilities. Kain is also dedicated to workplace diversity–in fact, under her leadership, ALOM’s diversity spend was 46 percent in 2019 alone.
A champion of women entrepreneurs and business leaders, Kain served in the Danish Parliament in her 20s and currently serves as a mentor and community advocate, sitting on several boards including the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), where she is currently serving her second term.
She is passionate about education within the workplace and encouraging STEM education for children–especially girls–offering personally guided student tours of ALOM facilities and even hiring students as summer interns .
Katherina-Olivia Lacey is the co-founder and Chief Product Officer at the Singapore-based logistics technology company Quincus. From her modest beginnings, Katherina was working in a swimwear company managing inventory and doing marketing for the company, Lacey saw inefficiencies within the industry and set out to help solve them. Today, under the helm of Lacey, the company serves a global top two package delivery company and one of Asia’s largest airlines. Says nominator Kelley Prince, “Katherina is a north star for women within logistics or trying to break into it.”
Thanks in no small part to Lacey, Quincus has increased turnover by more than 1,000 percent. Today, Quincus has 70 staff and five location offices globally (India, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and UK). Within Quincus, Lacey has spearheaded such committees as Women@Quincus, a mentorship group designed to foster teamwork and mentorship among women employees. Lacey is credited with fostering an environment of teamwork, charity, growth and work/life balance that helps unleash camaraderie and teamwork among Quincus employees.
The Director of LeanCor Supply Chain Group Training and Education, Ana Bailey leads a team of instructional designers and trainers in the creation and implementation of online education programs. Bailey is also the primary consultant for Lean transformations, driving customer value and fostering an environment of excellence at LeanCor.
Bailey implemented a cost reduction plan at two-times expected targets, with a 97.5 percent contract rate attainment in 2019 at LeanCor Supply Chain. She has taken the helm of LeanCor’s training and education services and has taught classes at institutions such as Georgia Tech University and the University of Kentucky. Bailey has also lead client engagements with such businesses as GE Transportation, Lexmark, JC Penney and Amazon.com. A Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Bailey is bilingual in English and Spanish and holds a degree in Psychology.
The Vice President of Supply Chain Solutions at LeanCor Supply Chain Group, Ashley Yentz works with clients to ensure everything from goal creation to supply-chain advancement. Yentz is known for her innovative methods, working to challenge LeanCor’s corporate and social responsibility.
Under Yentz’s leadership, LeanCor has experienced a 10-20 percent improvement in on-time delivery and productivity, developing the company’s management system. Known as “a transparent, approachable leader,” Yentz manages a team of more than 10 remote leaders, still managing to make the team feel cohesive and included. Says her nominator “Some people teach, some people do. Ashley does both very, very well.”
CEO of BLOC (Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration) and co-founder of BunkerTrace, Deanna MacDonald is a blockchain innovator. At the helm of BLOC, MacDonald has helped the company develop maritime energy and blockchain solutions. Today, at just four years old, BLOC is the leading platform of its kind.
At BunkerTrace, which MacDonald co-founded in 2019, her goal was to use a combination of synthetic DNA and blockchain to enhance marine fuel traceability, a goal which the company has achieved in just one year’s time. A respected public speaker and proponent of open-source technology, MacDonald uses her expertise in the blockchain field to educate on many aspects of the emerging field.
Senior Director of Global Logistics at Note Logistics, Michelle Kodrich works to provide clients with end-to-end supply chain solutions around the globe. The role, which Kodrich originated, is meant to help cultivate an international supply chain and strengthen relationships with domestic services.
Kodrich has served in the logistics industry for more than 25 years, managing international supply chains for the retail and grocery industries. She is experienced in ocean contracts and TMS management implementation, as well as planning domestic shipments and freight bill auditing. A truly versatile expert, Kodrich’s experience in all facets of the supply chain makes her the perfect fit for her newest endeavor at Note Logistics.
Judy R. McReynolds
Judy R. McReynolds is the chairman, president, and CEO of the logistics company ArcBest, where she has risen through the ranks in her 20-plus year tenure. Since joining ArcBest in 1997, McReynolds has held the titles of Chairman of the Board of Directors, Senior Vice President and CFO & Treasurer.
In addition to her role at ArcBest, McReynolds has been active on many transportation industry boards, as well as educational and local boards in her Arkansas community. Today, McReynolds also serves at OG&E as both the Chair of the Compensation Committee and on the board’s executive committee.
CEO and Director of the Port of Hueneme in California, Kristin Decas has served at the only deep water harbor between Los Angeles and San Francisco since 2012. Among her many accomplishments, Decas oversaw the port’s generation of more than $1 billion in annual economic impact and more than 10,200 direct and indirect jobs.
Recognized by the Trade Administration for her notable encouragement of economic development and for her dedicated service to a number of port and shipping committees, Decas has served on numerous panels, including the Freight Advisory Committee (NFAC), the U.S. Marine Transportation System National Advisory Council (MTSNAC) and on the Board of Directors for the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA).
At the recommendation of the Port Commission, San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee appointed Elaine Forbes Executive Director of the Port in October 2016, making her (along with Port of Hueneme’s Kristin Decas) one of 12 women port directors in the United States. Before Forbes’ appointment, she served as Deputy Director for Finance and Administration for the port for six years.
Forbes leads the port to responsibly manage the waterfront as the gateway to a world-class city and advances environmentally and financially sustainable maritime, recreational and economic opportunities to serve San Francisco, the Bay Area region and California.
Vice President of Walmart Fulfillment Services, Jare’ Buckley-Cox helped roll out the successful Walmart eCommerce program, which enables third-party sellers to sell through Walmart, allowing the retail giant to provide warehousing, packing and shipping for these vendors.
Prior to her tenure at Walmart, Buckley-Cox served at Amazon.com as Director of Logistics Shipping & Delivery Support, Product Director of Global Support Services, Technical Product Director, Post Purchase Delivery Experience and as the Director of Customer Service Operations for North America.
As the field of logistics becomes all the more important in this increasingly global economy, women remain a valuable resource for innovation, dedication and education. These logistics trailblazers and many more bring years of hard work and diverse experience to the table, all while shattering the glass ceiling along the way.
While the next generation of logistics leadership remains to be seen, we can only hope to see more women entering the logistics field, especially with such exemplary leaders for inspiration.