Women at Numode Delivery
“I tell everyone one of them that I am a better driver”, says Lata Singh, laughing as she recalls her conversation with her male colleagues. Lata started as a commercial driver doing Same Day deliveries in Vancouver 20 years ago. “When I started driving in 2002, it was rare to see woman drivers”. After taking time to raise her kids, Lata decided to go back to work driving. In 2019 she joined Numode Delivery doing local Vancouver deliveries with the odd day delivering to Sechelt/Gibsons. “I have known Lata for over 20 years so when I heard she wanted to return to work, I knew she would be a natural fit with Numode, says Andrew Kronquist, President of Numode Delivery.
Vanessa Cowan was the first person hired with Numode Delivery. “It was such a great opportunity to start with a new company”, says Vanessa. Today she is the office manager managing a group of 6 individuals. She has noticed that there are more women in the industry then when she started in 2017. “We deal with a lot of national and provincial carriers and there are definitely more women employed today in various roles then just 5 years ago”. Proudly adding that 50% of the office staff at Numode Delivery are women. She remembers that one of the first conversations she had with Andrew was about her gender in a male oriented industry. “Work hard, be yourself and don’t be afraid to ask questions” was his advice. As with any new company, Vanessa started out as a driver doing the Vancouver-to-Vancouver Island deliveries. “You can see the number of commercial women drivers have increased especially in the cargo vans and sprinters”, says Vanessa. Vanessa has noticed a big change in the transportation workforce. “Today most companies have created an environment where women are welcomed into their workforce” says Vanessa.
Andrea Gottschalk is a dispatcher at Numode Delivery. She has worked in the Vancouver courier industry for the past 18 years. “When I started all the CSR were women and the dispatchers were all men” says Andrea. She also started out as a CSR, became a dispatch assistant, and for the past few years a dispatcher. “It’s definitely more acceptable today to see women in authority in the courier industry”.
Raveena Mahemy is responsible for the bookkeeping and social media at Numode. She started in June of 2022. “I love my job; we have created such a great culture with our team of drivers and office staff” adds Raveena. Having prior experience in the industry, she was surprised at how many women work at Numode. “It is nice to see the diversity and the leadership roles that women have at Numode Delivery”.
A lot has still to be done
Women account for 50% of the workforce but only 15% in the transportation industry. “I think that it is important that companies like Numode Delivery reflect on the customers that they serve” adds Andrew. There have been some challenges to attracting women into the transportation industry. There has been a lack of outreach, some factors like culture and health concerns play a role, and the challenge of accommodating responsibilities outside of the workforce. “I definitely think that Numode Delivery can play a role model for the industry” adds Andrew.
We’ve also recently published an article about the development and challenges, as well as discrimination women still face today in the transportation industry.