The theme of International Women’s Day this year is “Choose to Challenge,” and I’m struck by how fortunate XPO is to have attracted so many talented women all over the world who’ve dared to make that choice. Challenging the stereotypes and misperceptions that surface in any male-dominated industry isn’t easy. Those who’ve elected to push against long-standing norms, when simpler paths so often beckon, deserve to be recognized.
When I consider the breadth of contributions the women of XPO have made in the single decade of the company’s existence, I think about how our progress would surely have been impeded had we lacked a culture that champions and empowers women. Working to instill that culture came naturally to a leadership team of men and women who demanded at the outset that opportunity would favor neither gender. We knew that if XPO was to meet what we all saw as a vast potential, women and men would necessarily play equally instrumental roles at all levels and in all job functions.
We also were well aware that pursuing a desired outcome requires a resolute, united effort. And we weren’t kidding ourselves—it was clear that tapping outside resources for help would be essential. We knew we needed to work with partners who share our values.
The partnerships we’ve formed over the years combine to tell an uplifting story of encouragement and advocacy. Organizations like Women in Trucking and AWESOME (Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management & Education) have helped us develop best practices that foster women’s career advancement. The strides we’ve made together are heartening.
There’s still a huge amount of work to do, but the impact of our female employees is unmistakable. As the executive sponsor of the Women at XPO network, my goal is to ensure that the women of XPO not only see opportunity at every turn but also are supported by colleagues who learn from and reward their accomplishments. The women of XPO have inspired people around the world whom they’ll never meet. They’re role models, whether they think of themselves that way or not.
Whether they’re driving a truck, programming robots or serving in the C-suite or on the board of directors, the women of XPO demonstrate what’s possible. They’ve proven that women and girls have choices they might never have dreamed of making. And that they really can choose to challenge.