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Supporting women in industry

Emily Jackman, Founder, Kenter International Logistics. Image: Kenter International Logistics.

In a world where the logistics and supply chain industry is predominantly
male-dominated, Kenter International Logistics emerges not only as a beacon of innovation and excellence but also as a staunch supporter of gender diversity and empowerment. Founder Emily Jackman’s personal journey and her company’s sponsorship of the Women in Industry Awards underscore the growing recognition of women’s contributions and the ongoing challenges they face in the sector.

Kenter International Logistics, freight forwarding company with a global reach, has been making waves under the leadership of its founder, Emily Jackman. With a rich history of 13 years in the business, Emily’s path to success was anything but conventional. “My journey through the logistics landscape was diverse and challenging. I’ve managed ships, worked on the port, and delved into freight forwarding. Each role was a building block towards creating Kenter,” she reflects. 

This diverse background has been instrumental in shaping Kenter into a company that prides itself on offering bespoke logistics solutions to its clients.

Despite its small size, with a team of four in Australia and ten offshore, Kenter’s impact on the logistics industry is profound. The company’s success is attributed to its innovative approach, breaking away from traditional siloed operations to foster a team capable of handling comprehensive logistics tasks from start to finish. Emily highlights the importance of this approach: “We’ve built a team that thrives on versatility and dedication. This strategy, while unconventional, has been key to our ability to deliver exceptional service to our clients.”

The foundation of Kenter and Emily’s personal growth within the industry was not without its trials, particularly during the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Emily candidly shares her experiences, noting, “The GFC was a reality check. It taught me resilience and the importance of adaptability. Despite the challenges, it was a period of tremendous learning and growth for both myself and the company.” These experiences have not only fortified Kenter’s operational strategies but have also prepared it to navigate the uncertainties of the market, including the recent challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A significant aspect of Emily’s narrative is her advocacy for gender diversity and empowerment in logistics, a sector traditionally dominated by men. Her early career experiences, supported by male mentors who offered flexibility and understanding, allowed her to balance motherhood with her professional ambitions. “It’s crucial for women to know that it’s possible to have a fulfilling career and family life simultaneously. The support I received early on made a significant difference, and it’s a message I’m passionate about sharing with other women,” Emily states.

Kenter’s Emily Jackman has long been a strong supporter of women in industry. Image: Kenter International Logistics.
Kenter’s Emily Jackman has long been a strong supporter of women in industry. Image: Kenter International Logistics.

This passion is evident in Kenter’s sponsorship of the Women in Industry Awards (WII), which recognises the achievements of women across various industrial sectors. For Emily, the WII is more than just an event; it’s a platform for showcasing the resilience, talent, and innovation that women bring to industries where they have historically been underrepresented. “Supporting the WII is not just about celebrating the accomplishments of women in heavy industry. It’s about acknowledging their struggles, supporting their growth, and paving the way for a more inclusive future,” she explains.

Emily’s experiences have also shed light on the persistent challenges and biases women face in male-dominated fields. From being overlooked in favour of male counterparts to encountering outdated attitudes, these challenges have fuelled her determination to advocate for change. “I’ve faced numerous obstacles, from subtle biases to overt discrimination. These experiences have not deterred me; instead, they’ve strengthened my resolve to fight for gender equality in the logistics industry,” she asserts.

Emily Jackman founded Kenter more than 13 years ago. Image: Kenter International Logistics.
Emily Jackman founded Kenter more than 13 years ago. Image: Kenter International Logistics.

Despite these hurdles, Emily is optimistic about the progress being made towards gender equality in the workplace. She observes a shift towards more inclusive practices within companies, leading to a more balanced and diverse workforce. “The inclusion of women in leadership roles and decision-making processes is becoming increasingly valued. This shift is not just beneficial for women; it enhances the creativity, efficiency, and overall success of businesses,” Emily notes.

As the conversation about gender equality in the industry continues to evolve, Emily envisions a future where initiatives like the WII are no longer necessary because gender parity has been achieved. Until then, she remains committed to supporting and celebrating the achievements of women in the industry, fostering a culture of inclusivity and empowerment.

In closing, Emily reflects on the broader implications of her work and the importance of continuing to advocate for gender diversity and equality. “My dream is for the logistics industry to become a place where gender is no longer a barrier to success. By supporting each other, sharing our stories, and challenging the status quo, we can create a more equitable and prosperous future for everyone in the industry,” she concludes. 

Her leadership at Kenter and her advocacy for women in industry not only challenge existing norms but also inspire a new generation of women to pursue their ambitions in logistics and beyond.

For more information on Women in Industry, click here

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