From the dusty streets of Slurry in North-West to managing the distribution of goods across the country

Posted by Barloworld Logistics on 01 Aug 2019 10:00:00 AM

Women in logistics

Distribution Manager, Amelia Holtzhausen proves that life can take a much rewarding turn when you least expect it.

With aspirations to become a Paediatrician, a dream her parents instilled in her from a very young age quickly changed when she was not admitted to pursue a medical degree at the University of Pretoria. She later opted for a BSC in Medical Sciences, however, fate proved otherwise and she found herself in the job market with an Honours degree. Faced with the challenge of gaining entry in the medical field, Amelia did what most graduates do – go into different industries while they look for employment in their field of study.  She ended up at Barloworld Logistics as an Inbound Clerk, a role she enjoyed to a point that she gave up looking for a job in the medical field and was ready to explore the possibilities that came with Warehousing and Logistics.

“The Logistics and Supply Chain industry excites me as no two days are exactly the same. You never get bored and there is always something new to do.”

Her role as a Distribution Manager involves the overall oversight and management of Barloworld Logistics’ client sites and activities; including but not limited to warehouse management, customer service, transport and the management of outside storages. She notes the ability to influence processes and manage sites as the most rewarding parts about her job. Balancing work and family is no easy feat however, she does it effortlessly, thanks to her philosophy of staying healthy at all times and having a supportive family structure. The married mother of two (aged 6 and 2) attributes her success to her family. 

Women in Warehousing, Logistics and Supply Chain

Traditionally, the Supply Chain has always been perceived as a man’s world, however in recent years there has been a drastic change worth noting. Amelia believes that women have the natural ability needed to do the job in the same manner men can. She emphasizes the need for awareness about how the industry has evolved. It is no longer a field that is all about trucks, diesel, oil or forklifts – making it more physical than it actually isn’t. Women need to be educated about the operations of Logistics and Warehousing; with technology, there are systems in place as well as data analytics that may not necessarily require physical strength. Amelia believes that women can succeed in this field. She encourages women to be strong, work hard, take the lead in arduous situations, be willing to learn from mistakes and have healthy relationships with their teams.

“I have learnt so much from women in senior positions within Barloworld Logistics, from the likes of Tsholofelo Molati, Senior Manager SHEQ & Sustainability as well as many others who have carved and shaped my career thus far”.

Amelia strongly believes in paying it forward, and plays her part in empowering other women around her. She mentors other women at the warehouse by offering them guidance in areas where they might be facing difficulty. It is imperative for women who want a career in Logistics and Warehousing to do their homework.

“There are so many opportunities and functionalities within the industry – one can go into Inventory Management or even Human Resources – they just need to do their research and identify what they truly enjoy”. 

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