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DHL Express female-led operations team grows 46% in just 5 years

DHL Express has been crowned 2021’s top employer for the seventh consecutive year thanks to its boom in e-commerce and most recently growing its female-led operations team 46 percent in just five years.

Challenging a once male-dominated workplace, DHL Express NZ runs a ‘Women in Operations’ programme to promote women into leadership positions. They have recently recorded the highest number of female employees across the company’s network in Asia Pacific, with half of the NZ operations team made up of females.

Assisting women from a young age, the company has a School Leavers Programme, which targets female students who do not wish to further their education due to various socio-economic factors. Similarly, for female graduates of Supply Chain Management diploma courses, DHL Express’ Frontline Graduate Programme trains graduates for a year in functions like operations, customer service, finance and customs.

Idealog chats to Selina Deadman, Vice President, Commercial DHL Express, on her career in operations and why the logistics industry is no longer male-dominated.


What made you start working in operations?

I started working in operations at DHL Express 27 years ago.  I wanted to pursue a career with the world’s most international company and I knew that was DHL. As my background was in customs operations I was able to get a position at DHL that matched my experience back then. 

Selina Deadman, DHL Express Vice President, Commercial


How has it been working for DHL Express?     

DHL is very committed to developing its people so if you work hard, get involved in the business and are passionate about what you do it’s a GREAT place to work.  I was in the operations team at DHL for three years before I transitioned to the sales team.

The highlights have definitely been my international career taking me all over the world, particularly based in our Asia Pacific and Americas regions, where I was fortunate enough to work with some of our largest customers helping them grow their international sales and develop supply chain solutions to support their business growth, whilst developing my management skills through some great pointers and mentoring by DHL Express executives.


What are your thoughts on female leadership in NZ?

We have some talented female leaders across our organisation and I believe that when you give people opportunities, trust, value and support them to flourish whilst recognising & rewarding them then we all learn and grow off of each other.  We really embrace our culture of results and respect on a daily basis. 



What do you think could be done to see more females in the workplace?

Traditionally the logistics industry has not been perceived as a female dominated industry being ‘planes, trains, automobiles’, however this is now far from reality especially with our business in New Zealand. 

Starting early on with additional graduate support, such as our School Leavers program and the Frontline Graduate program, is a great way to commence in the workplace. At DHL Express, we aim to work with female graduates from Supply Chain Management diploma courses, and train them for a year in functions such as operations, customer service, finance and customs, ensuring to set them up for success.  


Where do you hope to be in five years’ time?

I think digitalisation & sustainability are playing a huge part in our society and workplaces so I hope to continue to grow my expertise in these areas to support the ongoing development of our people and business.  Connecting People – Improving Lives! 



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