To celebrate International Women’s Day, we are proud to highlight the incredible women who lead and excel in traditionally male-dominated areas of our business. We spoke with several inspiring female colleagues from across the Group who shared their experiences, challenges, and hopes for the future in their roles.

Jade’s Journey in Health and Safety

Taking Russell Groups Health and Safety Department by storm is Jade Grant, Transport Compliance/Health and Safety. Explaining her role she says, “I mainly oversee the compliance within transport, which involves me engaging with the drivers on a personal basis, and there is the additional element of Health and Safety.”

With Health and Safety being a heavily male dominated field, it wasn’t a predetermined career path for Jade, “At my previous company their Health and Safety manager left. The Managing Director knew I was quick at typing, so I was asked to assist him in creating Method Statements and Risk Assessments for various contracts, this is where my interest in Health and Safety came from as I was hearing the different methods in which you remove asbestos or demolish buildings and I found it fascinating.”

Jade reflects on what it has been like navigating this field as a woman, “Luckily, I haven’t had to overcome any challenges so far in this job role. The drivers and other males I work alongside are great. I enjoy a good bit of banter, so it makes it easier for me to communicate with them and have a laugh along the way.”

Discussing what the most rewarding aspects of her role are, she notes, “The job role has rewarded me personally so far by gaining my qualifications. Having been the first female to have completed and passed their NEBOSH for the company among other Health and Safety qualifications. I’m also a people person and I enjoy helping others, I would find it rewarding to be able to pass on the knowledge that I have gained myself onto others.

When asked if any females inspired her H&S career journey, she acknowledges that she hasn’t had any female role models directly within health and safety but expresses, “I have worked alongside some great females, within past and present companies. I had Shirley who was my manager at the demolition company and Joanne my previous manager within Russell, both women knew my abilities and pushed me towards my career goals. They’re both very inspiring and great women to work alongside who both hold positions in male orientated industries.”

To aspiring women eyeing a career in health and safety, Jade’s advice is this: “Go for it! Not everyday is the same, you learn on the job, you get involved with the nitty gritty work and most importantly there aren’t enough women in the Health and Safety world, we need more!”

Looking ahead, Jade envisions a diverse and inclusive future, “My hopes for the future within Health and Safety is for the continuous development and improvement of Health and Safety practices within the workplace which gives access to all ages and genders.”


Colette’s Journey in On-Site Logistics

Colette McGhee is our partner business, Carntyne Transport’s On-Site Logistics Supervisor. Her role includes managing the manpower and resources for day to day running, meeting customer’s needs, and controlling the stock going in and out of Midtown/Containers.

Originally Colette pursued a career with Carntyne to get back into the office scene, starting out as an Admin Assistant but after successfully completing a secondment as an Admin Manager, Colette realised that she was capable of doing more, and then the OSL supervisor position came around.

Speaking about the challenges of working in a male-dominated field she notes “It can be quite difficult to be heard as a woman in a typically male dominated environment, so I make sure I am loud! I have a great laugh with my colleagues and like to think I get along with them well, male or female, so I am quite comfortable working in a mostly male dominated environment.”

For Colette, the most rewarding aspect of her role lies in the fulfilment of tasks and the satisfaction of keeping customers happy. “Most rewarding is knowing you complete tasks to the best of your ability and keep the customer happy," she affirms. "Also being able to help others, we work well as a team."

Speaking about the women that have inspired her, she underscores the importance of her mother and aunties perseverance. “I’d have to say my mum and my aunt (sisters) are my role models, they both faced disabilities in their lives," she shares. "Neither of them allowed it to control them, they both still worked hard, raised a family and are very independent woman, who I can proudly say are my family."

As International Women's Day approaches, Colette has a powerful message for women aspiring to leadership positions in logistics: "Believe in yourself, do not let anyone tell you, you can’t do anything you want. It is not always easy, but you won’t get anywhere if you don’t try."

Looking towards the future of logistics, she envisions a more inclusive and diverse industry. "My hope for the future is a few more female bosses," she expresses. "So, if you feel you can’t talk to a male then you have a choice. Also seeing female bosses can inspire more woman to go for it and be the best they can."


Louise’s Path to Transport Management

Louise McGill is a Transport Manager at Carntyne Transport where she is responsible for directing, coordinating, planning, and overseeing tasks and operations to ensure legal requirements for road haulage are met within Carntyne’s bulk transport. She is also responsible for building customer relations to ensure the business meets customer requirements.

Louise’s career in transport management is in thanks to her time in the military where she gained driving qualifications and managerial experience which led her to a management career in logistics.

Reflecting on the challenges she has faced working in a male-dominated industry, she notes “I have not faced any challenges whilst working at Carntyne, everyone has been very supportive. However, moving from military to civilian working was difficult. Being a young woman I had to navigate some confrontation from older men, which with time reduced as they could see that I was capable and knowledgeable.”

When asked about the most rewarding aspect of her role, Louise highlighted the camaraderie within her team and the satisfaction of overcoming the challenges inherent in the transportation industry.

Reflecting on her female role models, Louise acknowledged that the majority of her inspirations had been men. “But I would have to say the traffic commissioner Claire Gilmour is a role model as after listening to her talk at a seminar last year she inspired me to want to push myself out of my comfort zone.”

With International Women's Day approaching, Louise has a message for aspiring women in transport: "Be confident in all you do and ask questions; life is a journey."

Looking ahead, Louise envisions a future where women play an increasingly prominent role in transport. Drawing from her experiences in various logistic sectors, she notes a growing presence of women in transport-related positions, with her own traffic office primarily composed of women—a shift from the past where women were the minority.

She expresses, “My vision is to allow everyone to grow regardless of gender, empowering all colleagues to want to do better in whatever role they have in Carntyne.”


Katrina’s Journey as an HGV Driver

Katrina Kidd, HGV Driver at Carntyne Transport. With trucking running in her family, Katrina jumped at the opportunity to be an HGV driver as sitting behind the wheel was her dream role.

When asked what she finds most rewarding and enjoyable about her role as a HGV driver she notes, “Obviously the open road…well, not so much open, just a figure of speech! But it is nice to sort of be my own boss unlike working in a factory under pressure keep up with the production line. I can just plod along and enjoy meeting new people and nice scenery in the destination I am sent to.”

Despite the perks, navigating work in a male-dominated industry as a woman has its hurdles,

reflecting on this Katrina said, “Sexism exists in all walks of life. I felt such a feeling at the start of my career. However, most of my male colleagues have accepted me in my role and class me as one of the boys.”

As the world of work has become more inclusive, Katrina considers the ways that the transport industry could be more supportive of women joining the industry, “I believe at the moment more and more women are out on the roads doing all kinds of work in the transport industry and that the industry are taking on more women drivers to stay in line with modern times. I also think the government should consider offering haulage companies incentives to attract more women drivers”.

For aspiring female HGV drivers Katrina had this to say: “Don’t believe it is still a man’s world and you have something to prove. Yes, it can be long ours, yes it can be stressful at times and affect family life, but it can be a wonderful life for a woman if you have a supportive family. Just be confident, keep your customers and employers happy and then everybody’s happy.”


Thank you to all the inspiring ladies that shared their experiences with us and to all the women across our teams that work hard to deliver our customers promises. Your efforts are forever appreciated!