The wheel is turning, slowly but surely

By Martin Gomersall, Magnus Group
There once was a time when working in warehouses and driving lorries were considered men’s work. Who can forget the original Yorkie TV ads featuring a macho trucker taking a bite out of his chocolate bar while cheerfully waving an attractive lady car driver through?

Published in Suffolk Director Magazine Autumn|Winter 2022
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Logistics: Magnus Group

Logistics has come a long way to be more inclusive since then, but we need to do much more as a sector.

Here at Magnus Group, we have two female HGV drivers, one out on the road for days at a time (it’s called HGV tramping). We’d love to get more women interested in driving trucks, and as a business, we’re working hard to be more inclusive.

One of the many positive changes the company has introduced over the last few years is bringing in Emma Lightfoot as Head of Personnel and Development. Among other things, Emma is dedicated to the well-being and support of our people.

We now employ 150 staff across our sites in Great Blakenham and Felixstowe, so her role is pivotal to staff engagement, training and development and transitioning the business into one that is as inclusive and diverse as it can be.

To that end, we included a sizeable section in our employee handbook, produced for the first time this year, to our commitment to equal opportunities.

The need for more inclusivity

According to figures released by the Office of National Statistics in October last year, there were around 268,000 people employed as HGV drivers in the UK. But only an estimated 2% of those are women. Magnus Group is running ahead of that percentage, but we still want to be higher.

Every logistics company or transport company is always looking for new drivers, so why is it difficult to attract women to the profession? Perception is a key part of this, and the industry is moving forwards in this regard. But it’s a slow burner.

More should be done to improve the comfort of HGV drivers out on the road. Better facilities, such as rest stops, healthy food options, and access to clean showers and toilet facilities, would make the profession seem more attractive to everyone.

As a business, Magnus Group likes to offer a good working environment. Little things like our staff wildlife area, which includes a large, peaceful pond stocked with fish, plus our monthly staff barbecues, all contribute to a sense of togetherness.

We’re doing what we can to change perceptions of the industry and make everyone feel welcome, and other logistics companies are doing the same. As the title of this article suggests, the wheel is turning slowly but surely.

Do you know anyone considering a life on the road?

Any qualified truck driver has no shortage of job opportunities these days. Like all logistics companies, we’re always looking for talent, so if you know of any drivers who would like to work with a forward-thinking company that’s embedded in the Suffolk community, we’d appreciate a recommendation.

The wheel is turning, slowly but surely 1

Martin Gomersall is Group Operating Director of Magnus Group

T: 01473 836600
Or visit

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