How Women in Logistics group enriches TQL culture

Total Quality Logistics is committed to fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion for our people, from our six Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to our Diversion & Inclusion Task Force. We want every team member to feel important in a workplace that promotes a sense of belonging and values integrity, teamwork and determination.

Women in Logistics (WIL) is our oldest ERG. WIL attracts, connects and develops the TQL community of women by providing internal networking opportunities, professional development and community involvement.

WIL fulfills an important void in the traditionally male logistics industry. Women made up only 39% of the total supply-chain workforce in 2022 – a two percentage point drop from 2021, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Tracy, a Senior Human Resources Manager, saw the need for WIL at TQL in 2013. Read what Tracy says about WIL’s function, benefits and future.

What motivated you to start WIL?

When I came to TQL in 2012, we had two satellite offices and were just beginning to add more. I kept getting calls from women in the satellites wondering, “Am I the only woman at TQL?” They might have been the only woman in the satellite for that city but not at TQL overall.

We knew then that we needed to bring a group together for support and shared experiences. I got together with a small group of leaders at TQL and said, “If we did a women’s Employee Resource Group, what would it look like?” Women comprise about 30% of our staff. We researched male-dominated companies to figure out what we wanted.

We came up with a name and worked to focus our network and connect our women. Our purpose was to inspire women, create support and provide an active presence in our communities. What started with a couple hundred women has now grown to more than 1,500.

How has WIL impacted you?

It’s been very rewarding with substantial benefits. To me, it’s about making sure people are comfortable at work, that they are good fits and that we retain them. All the work to build WIL has been worth it to create opportunities for women to meet and learn from each other.

Describe WIL’s impact at TQL.

By helping connect our women, WIL promotes leadership and shapes career aspirations. You can see the wheels spinning when a woman in leadership shares her influence. It’s like, “She did that? Well, I can do that.” It gets that competitive spirit going and inspires women to approach that leader to be a mentor. We created a WIL panel so others could meet women in high places at TQL. The true value of WIL is when women refer more women to the group. That helps us make even greater strides together.

What ways does WIL attract, connect and develop a community of women?

Since WIL was the first ERG at TQL, it has set an example to our other groups. We’re able to share what worked for us and what didn’t. While each ERG has to make the group their own, we can provide support to others while continuing to grow our core. And grow, we have. In addition to our main WIL group, we have two subgroups: Women in IT and Women in Finance. The subgroups have their own meetings and events beyond WIL. Each TQL office also has a WIL Ambassador and the opportunity to design activities for their groups of women. As a core part of our six ERGs, we provide quarterly updates as part of the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force.

Speaking of that, how does WIL reinforce TQL’s commitment to Diversity & Inclusion?

We celebrate Diversity & Inclusion by welcoming all women from every TQL office and department and being intentional and respectful about learning from each other. We spotlight our WIL members to share how they have achieved success and what habits they have developed along the way. As a supportive group that helps women connect, WIL provides information, education and keys to success. WIL has its own culture, and that culture is tailored to women while embracing the Diversity & Inclusion commitment we all share at TQL.

Some TQL’ers and carriers may just be learning about WIL. What else would you share?

WIL is rich with experiences and opportunities. We have virtual speakers to share personal histories and inspiration. We offer partnerships as part of our WIL mentoring program to poise women for success in freight logistics. We get together outside the workplace, too, whether that’s an annual Cincinnati Reds game for those at or near HQ or fundraising opportunities across the company. Our satellite offices host outings to keep their groups engaged. WIL fosters encouragement and positive competition while celebrating the successes of all our women.

What’s your vision for WIL’s future at TQL?

WIL is in a great place with plenty of room to grow. I’d love to see more membership and amplify our voice on social media. I’d also love more women to be promoted to higher positions and become role models. We welcome all our TQL women to WIL and encourage them to participate in our many activities and initiatives. WIL is unstoppable when we’re all in it together.

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