The world of logistics can represent a male dominated work environment, but for Perishable Movements Ltd (PML) – the global perishable cargo specialists – just under half (48%) of the staff are women.

Financial Director, Rui Pan (left) and Imrana Giannotto (right), PML HR Manager

Imrana Giannotto is the HR Manager at PML and explains the significant role that women continue to play in the company.

“At PML, women have the same access to a clear career path and opportunities for development as men. Therefore, it’s no coincidence that our Financial Director – Rui Pan – is female and that women hold down senior roles in a number of PML’s divisions, especially accounts, imports, warehouse and the packhouse. The nature of our business means that we need to run our operations 24/7 which requires us to run shifts. This type of working pattern is often appealing to women who are faced with
juggling childcare commitments whilst holding down a job.”

Because of this style of working, the pandemic has had limited impact on the female workforce, “Our women had already taken on shifts that fitted around their partner’s work so effectively, they already had their childcare sorted to fit around family life. When the pandemic hit and schools closed, many mums across the country were forced to stay at home to look after their children, but for the majority of our wonderful women, this was not an issue.”

“As a critical service – PML’s business involves moving essential supplies of food – as such, our staff are recognised as key workers, so all employees are entitled to continued access to schools and nurseries.”

As Head of HR, Imrana places great emphasis on ensuring women are treated equally when they choose to have children. “We have had a lot of maternity cases, especially in our warehouse teams. One lady gave birth to twins, came back to work and is due to have another set of twins! The fact that this employee intends to return twice is testament to our commitment to working mums. We understand how challenging this can be and we’ve worked hard to offer flexible working hours to accommodate their needs. We make sure that any pregnant members of staff are well cared for and given plenty of breaks to help them during what is obviously a physically and emotionally demanding period of their life.”

Not that women rely solely on the watchful support of the HR team to hold their own at PML. Imrana continues, “These are incredibly strong, hard-working, single-minded ladies who are the backbone to our business. They are used to multi-tasking; they get on with the task in hand without whingeing and when new challenges arise – they simply take them in their stride.”

For a logistics business which moves specialist temperature cargo around the world, Brexit and the associated additional paperwork and new protocols has certainly not been easy. But to working mum Angelika who has enjoyed numerous promotions since joining the packhouse team and who now plays a pivotal role in the imports department, it was simply another opportunity to shine.

Imrana comments, “Angelika is a perfect example of how our women are focused on results. Their drive and determination ensure they seize any challenge with both hands and always go the extra mile to deliver the desired results.”

Imrana has no doubt that women will continue to thrive at PML. “Our ladies are a force to be reckoned with and rightly so. Women at PML don’t wish to be treated any differently to men, just equally. They don’t allow anything to hold them back and continue to demonstrate their immense value to our operations.”