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Date: December 21

If many years ago in the logistics sector, especially in operational activities, there was a numerical preponderance of men, today the situation is totally different according to the experience of two prominent leaders in the sector.

Passion for Logistics

Violeta Vargas and Karen Munayco are two of the many examples that demonstrate the leadership and prominence that women have been assuming in the logistics sector for some years in Peru.

Violeta is the commercial and marketing manager at GS1 Peru and Karen is the commercial director at DHL Express Peru. Although following different paths, both ended up in the logistics sector without having planned it, and they decided to remain there because of the passion that this activity aroused in them.

Violeta studied Business Administration at the University of Lima. She began her professional life in the financial sector in the business area. She spent several years there watching and getting to know the operations of clients from different sectors. This is how she approached logistics: one day she was invited to be part of the operations and logistics management of a mass consumption distribution company.

In this new stage, he was not only in charge of issues related to transportation and distribution, but also the part of the business itself, due to his professional profile: he was now working in the commercial-logistics mix.

Some time later, he came to a beauty products company and, finally, thanks to the background of knowledge that he had accumulated both in the financial-commercial part and in logistics and operations, he joined the global organization GS1, an organization with a presence in more than 120 countries.

GS1 Peru, with more than 35 years in the country, provides specialized solutions in logistics and supply chain.

Success stories

In all that time, Violeta never stopped studying and training. In addition to graduating in Business Administration, he completed an MBA at the TEC de Monterrey, a master's degree in Business Management and Marketing at the UP, specializations and diplomas in logistics and supply chain, thus reaping his success in the world of logistics.

It was with GS1 Peru that he started in the consulting area. By then, logistics had already become a passion for her. In addition, a hybrid profile had been built between the commercial and logistical aspects, since he knew both operations and the commercial part, something that helped him to reach this new organization.

Today Violeta is in charge of the commercial and Marketing management at GS1 Peru, an organization that has four areas with solutions that are put at the service of its more than 5,000 associated companies: consulting, education & events, Retail & Mass Consumption projects and consulting in encoding (standard barcodes).

Karen's path had a different line, but a similar ending. She studied Computer Engineering at the Catholic University. Her work stage began in the field of technology, in the telecommunications and insurance sector, focused on everything related to project management. Her transition to the logistics sector occurred when she entered DHL's systems area as a technology project manager.

Work experience

Karen completed subsequent studies that helped her grow in this company. Her vision, initially focused on systems, was expanded with an MBA that allowed her to see how the various areas of a company work.

That helped him manage not only projects at the system level but also at the company level. After that, he moved to the engineering area and later to the commercial area, in the pricing and retail part, where he managed several countries in South America.

As of 2011, he recalls, he began to manage different areas: he began managing the systems area, then operations, and is currently in charge of managing the commercial area at DHL Express.

Women in Logistics

During her work stage in the logistics sector, Violeta never felt any gender barrier against her, despite the fact that the area of operations she was in charge of was made up mainly of men.

She affirms that the barriers are in oneself, that these are created thinking that something is exclusive to men. "The barriers are usually mental, there are no barriers that we cannot face," she says, a phrase that can be applied to everyone.

The same was experienced by Karen, who affirms that at DHL she never suffered any gender barrier; on the contrary, she supports herself, she felt that she had all the opportunities, the same ones that her companions had.

This has been reflected in the different roles he has assumed in the organization. What's more, of the 10 managers in this company, 60% are women, he adds. Likewise, he says, in the middle management they are also having more participation.

However, he considers that although the issue of gender equality has been improving at the sector level, work must still continue to promote the same in all organizations.

Empowerment in the sector

In general, both agree that today there are many women occupying the different areas in the logistics sector, from the highest leadership positions to operations.

Violeta remembers that there were few women in the distribution company where she worked. Although the general management and operations management were led by women, the rest were men.

Today, however, she feels that there are more women in the logistics sector. You see it in all areas and even in attendance at events: in the areas of planning, purchasing, supply, warehouses, inventories, distribution, transportation, etc.

Even driving loaders and all kinds of machinery. But not only that, there are also more and more leading organizations.

There is not a single logistics area where you cannot find a woman leading these work teams today”, Violeta highlights. “They are shining because of their own results”, she remarks.

Violeta Vargas, Commercial and Marketing Manager at GS1 Peru
Karen Munayco, Commercial Director at DHL Express Peru

Source: Logística 360°