Inspiring Q&A to open the Big Logistics Diversity Challenge 2023
An inspiring Q&A session highlighting the equality, diversity and inclusion journey of two warehousing and logistics industry employees will open this year’s Big Logistics Diversity Challenge.
Grey Gardner, who is transmasculine, and Ollie Rowley, who is deaf, both joined, GXO, the world’s largest pure-play contract logistics provider, in 2021 and will be sharing their experiences and discussing what equality, diversity and inclusion means to them, how GXO’s Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (D,I&B) team has supported their careers and the importance and value of The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge (BLDC).
The Q&A will be led by Dawn Richmond, Diversity Inclusion and Belonging Specialist UK&I from GXO, which is also fielding a team at the event for the second year running.
Starting at GXO as an Operational Picker, Grey Gardner has progressed to an Acting Team Leader, taking a Level 3 Leadership and Management course to develop their skills for the role: “As a transmasculine individual, D,I&B is important to me because everybody deserves the opportunity to be able to come to work, feel part of a team, make connections and, ultimately, earn a living.
“The world is not yet set up for diverse individuals and D,I&B helps people realise that making small adjustments positively impacts everybody involved.
“The work GXO’s Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging team has done to promote visibility and education for diverse people has been immensely validating as I feel like I have been recognised and that there has been a real push for education so that I and many others feel included.
“My team has been extremely supportive when it comes to my transition at work. I have not felt challenged or threatened over my identity and they supported me in planning for the future so my work is impacted as little as possible.
“I am looking forward to networking at The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge, meeting new people and working as part of a team. I’d love to be able to stay in contact with the people I meet as part of a wider supportive network for D,I&B.”
Warehouse Operative Ollie, who repairs goods to be sent back into stock, explained: “As a deaf person, people often think it is difficult to get to know to me.
“However, just being included is a great way to break the ice – they soon realise it’s rather simple to engage. Inclusion is very important.
“The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge was really fun last year. I really enjoyed the activities we took part in, like the human football!”
Cathy Balding, GXO Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging UK&I adds: “One of our values is to ‘Be inclusive’ and we’re committed to promoting diversity, inclusion and belonging at all levels.
“The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge is an important event as it allows us to bring together game changers from across our business to celebrate our achievements.
“It’s also great for team building; we start as colleagues but we leave as friends having embraced all of the challenges on the day.”
BLDC is specifically designed to highlight the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion and how diversity can be tackled collaboratively through physical, mental and skills-based team-building challenges.
This year’s event is being held at Newark Showground, Nottinghamshire, on 22 June and is an opportunity for organisations to share best practice, network and help shape a more inclusive sector, while recognising and rewarding employees with an adventurous day of fun.
More than 400 industry personnel have signed up to participate in this year’s BLDC and there is a growing number of supporting organisations recognising the event’s credentials.
Multi-media specialists Nimble Media Ltd is once again partnering with Talent in Logistics to stage the event and, as in previous years, 2023’s chosen charity is international development organisation Transaid.