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The changing face of road transport – Nick Leggett, Road Transport Forum chief executive, with EROAD Young Driver of the Year award winner Summer Ratima Thompson, John Collins from EROAD, Toni Tawhara (award runner-up) and Neil Reid, Road Transport Forum chair

Editorial – December’19 / January’20

If two recent sets of industry awards are anything to go by, a growing number of women are making their mark in our transport and logistics businesses, with several young female professionals being recognised for their achievements.

In late September, the Road Transport Forum NZ celebrated the NZ Road Transport Industry Awards. Chief executive Nick Leggett remarked: “With an ageing workforce, it’s important the industry is inclusive and promotes diversity. While we have appropriately awarded those who have been in the industry a long time, we have added two awards this year to recognise women and young drivers.”

Summer Ratima Thompson, winner of the EROAD Young Driver of the Year, was a barista at Robert Harris in Tokoroa when she talked her now employer, Graham Sheldrake, into employing her to drive logging trucks. “She is an inspiration to other young people who want to be part of the road transport industry,” Mr Leggett said.

In October, at the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (CILT NZ) annual awards, the Communications Award for Under 35s, the Rising Star Young Employee of the Year, and the Young Achiever of the Year award were all won by women. Minister for Women and Associate Minister for Transport Julie Anne Genter was a guest of honour, and said how good it was to see so many young women being recognised at the awards.

The recruitment of youth is also a feature of a new programme from the Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Federation NZ (CBAFF). Your Logistics Pathway provides learning and networking opportunities for those starting their careers in the freight forwarding sector. 

Certainly, if our industry is to move with the times, any initiatives that promote a diverse workforce and encourage young professionals, while leaning on the experience and wisdom of the ‘old hands’, should be commended and supported.

On behalf of all of us here at FTD, I wish you all the very best for Christmas and a happy New Year.

Until next time … 
Lynne Richardson, editor

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