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Portrait of Kinjal

Kinjal, CEO of DB Schenker in India & Indian Subcontinent

India is on its way to become the 3rd largest economy in the world. With GDP growth rates above 7% for most of the past twenty years, India’s economy is skyrocketing. While women make up for almost half of the population, the representation within the workforce is less than a third of women. In logistics it is even lesser. Improvements have happened but a lot more still needs to be done. See how Kinjal, CEO of DB Schenker in India & Indian Subcontinent, and her team are doing their bit to attract more women in the workforce. 

We need to keep the spark alive in our Female Talent. Our economy is growing, and we need to support women to grow with us.

Portrait of Kinjal

Kinjal is convinced that diversity needs to be addressed at various levels like having a healthy gender balance while entering  the workforce. “There is a heavy perception around logistics involving grungy work and exhausting manual labor. Our role as leaders is to keep doing our bit to change these false perceptions,” she states. Thus, Kinjal and her team engage themselves in external networking channels, panel discussions and partnerships to talk about how cool, important, relevant and fun logistics is. New ways of working, digitalization, changing work environment, flexibility - all of these  have opened opportunities. Kinjal identifies: “In fact, there has never been a better time for women to enter this industry. Women supply chain leaders must be more visible, especially when promoting supply chain leadership roles as a career path for young women.“

Mentoring is another important pillar for her in supporting female career – especially at the mid-career point where several women reportedly leave their jobs. The primary reason is lack of support in organizations to empathize with the changing life like family versus career priorities for women at this stage. Kinjal underlines: “We are doing every bit to mentor women at this stage, offer tailored employee development programs and implement flexible work policies that will help retain mid-career women. We need to keep the spark alive in our female talent.”

Portrait of Kinjal

As a leader, Kinjal tries to bring in an open mindset to her environment: She is sure that in order to be relevant for the future, todays leaders need to embrace diversity and be more open minded. Kinjal says: “Traditional mindset leading to unconscious biases, especially during hiring, needs to be addressed head on. In the long run, the strength of the organization will depend on the strength of the working force which has a diverse background.” 

‘‘When we look at the India cluster, we can see that there is an improved representation in terms of gender diversity  but the numbers dwindle dramatically at leadership level. We want women to be well represented in the talent pool”, Kinjal underlines. Accordingly, Kinjal and her team developed succession plans  and mentors accompany the journey. For leadership roles, the aim is to  have at least one woman candidate in the shortlist while the hiring is on merit. Kinjal knows: “We are on our way and there is still a lot more to be done.“

For a larger social impact, Kinjal and her team also do a lot of social work through their partnership with NGOs. “We Lead” and “Project SEWA” are two such initiatives aiming at overall economic upliftment of women. The program involves skill development for future employment, creating future entrepreneurs and also  awareness on health, personal finance, rights and entitlements. 

In India Cluster, aside from executive and mid-management positions, women are also filling technical positions such as truck drivers, warehouse managers, forklift operators, and shift supervisors. Kinjal and her colleagues set examples also at the grassroot level by positioning women in traditionally male surroundings. For instance, 20% of the Indian security staff  are women. For Kinjal there is no doubt: “Female strength does not stop at warehouse gates. That is where it begins.”