Celebrating the women at ZigZag Global – Happy International Women’s Day!
It’s International Women’s Day! A day to shout about the champions of your business, community, sports team, government, family, and any other empowering group of people – free of gender bias and discrimination.
Diversity of any kind drives creativity. All recent studies endlessly prove that gender and cultural diversity in your organisation helps foster innovation, agility, and ultimately leads to better financial results. So, it can be a bit perplexing and incredibly frustrating that the ideal world we strive for is not one we live in just yet!
At ZigZag we are truly lucky to have such talented and inspiring female professionals leading teams passionately or ensuring excellence on the frontline with unfaltering enthusiasm and panache. We wanted to take some time to highlight just some of our heroines, but every woman at ZigZag proves daily why it is so vital that businesses across retail, logistics, tech, and generally across all industries worldwide need to champion gender diversity!
Firstly, why is the logistics industry an interesting one to work in?
Let’s hear from one of our Senior Project Manager’s Nickie Deepak:
“Once I got into the industry, I realised just how big and widespread it is. There are roles for everyone! This is also one industry where there isn’t a set career path to follow. It builds a lot of transferrable skills, and you can make your career what you want it to be. I have moved around a lot within the industry and worked for some huge companies that would otherwise be out of reach for an inner-city kid with no connections. Think BAE Systems, TESCO, NHS, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, Bentley, and Marks and Spencer.”
Nickie’s roles have been on very visible projects, and she has built a brilliant reputation in the industry. A reputation impressive enough for ZigZag to headhunt her expertise! Nickie encourages all women to give logistics a go…“Simply put I love the variety and breadth of the logistics industry. It is vastly underrated as a career area. Especially for women!”.
Next up is Niki Paton, ZigZag’s expert Logistics Manager
Yes, we aren’t overly diverse with our names at ZigZag. Niki Paton seems like an appropriate second shout out after Nickie Deepak name-checked her namesake as an inspiring colleague that blows her mind with her confidence and appetite to keep learning new skills. Niki is a “great reminder to just keep pushing!”.
Niki works on the carrier network development side of things, specifically engaging with new carriers and helping to onboard them to our platform. Niki’s work means that she touches a lot of departments at ZigZag, especially with our team in Varna and she loves “the can-do attitude and the hunger to work together to get something across the line”.
Niki’s advice for an aspiring logistics or tech professional thinking of joining the industry is, “You never know until you try it! I never thought I would be a techy person, but I’m now heavily involved in the integration and technical aspects of onboarding carriers.”
Sara Hickman, Account Director who’s been with us five years had to say:
“Many people don’t realise how significant logistics is and how much it affects our everyday lives. Coming from the hospitality industry, I didn’t know much about this new industry that I had joined, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. You work with so many different companies within various sectors around the world and get to really understand how our customers and suppliers work.”
Another inspiring female professional is our Head of Product Kim Tam Lit
“Logistics is the melding of the physical and the virtual world. The thrill of building software which “comes to life” with the physical movement and tracking of parcels is amazing.”
Wise words from Hannah Dawson one of our brilliant Senior Client Success Manager
“The logistics industry is so interesting to work in because anyone and everyone can relate in some way, it’s fundamental in supporting the way we all live our lives in the modern world. Something I love about the industry as that no two days are the same and the people you can be interacting with can be so varied in terms of their role and function as well as their geographic location.”
What advice would you give to other women considering a career in retail, logistics or tech?
As Head of Product, Kim enjoys seeing the valuable working software being used and fulfilling the requirements of our users. Kim has built an extraordinarily strong Product team who are able to support the business by capturing stakeholders’ requirements, even those requirements which they themselves may not realise are needed, and then working with the development teams to transform those requirements into valuable features.
Her advice for young females is that “the hard fact is that the gender-gap in tech is shrinking but it still has a long way to go! Following your passion for tech may be challenging at times but making yourself happy and pursuing your dream is definitely a “Win-Win” situation for you and for other women.”
ZigZag is in a unique position as a SaaS (Software as a Service) provider that manages the returns of world-leading retailers globally. Our business requires us to excel across three industries in the shape of retail, logistics, and tech; therefore, women at ZigZag can provide some invaluable advice for other women looking to enter these typically male-dominated sectors.
The resounding piece of advice ZigZaggers would give to other women starting or switching careers to another in retail, logistics or tech is quite simply to “Go for it!”. You can allow yourself to feel intimidated by the challenges and frustrated by still prevalent gender gaps but not dissuaded. Here are some more words from some of our inspiring women smashing the ceiling in our industry!
Louise Eeles, Business Development Manager – “Go for it and speak up! The industry has a lot more women leading it than you realise.” Louise only joined our ZigZag commercial team but is already signing up new retailers left, right, and centre. A personable professional that quickly understands the problems of retailers, Louise will no doubt have the entire retail industry signed up to ZigZag’s returns platform by 2023.
Laura Davies, Head of Client Success – “It’s a fabulously diverse industry. Please don’t think that its male dominated, it’s really not. It’s a brilliant, fun, inspiring industry to work in!”. We have already shouted about the awesome job Laura has done championing the voice of the customer in our business. Under Laura’s stewardship, we have quickly improved the experience for both our long-standing and newer retailers.
Julia Newell, Head of Implementations – “Just go for it! All three of these industries need the skills women can bring to the table – there is plenty of room within those areas for women to thrive, particularly in tech where it may have been a more male-oriented space previously.” Likewise, as we have for Laura, we have shouted about the excellent job Julia has done for our Implementations team, building the squad from the grown up for an instant impact on our day-to-day business.
Tell us about one of your colleagues who inspires you and why:
We had so many beautiful responses to this question, we could not possibly choose just a few!
“For me, Magdalena Dalakova, she is very supportive, giving the best advice when needed, a brilliant example of a great leader and very compassionate person. Great communication and approach to our clients.”
– Bozhena Koleva
“Julia Newell – She works so hard, she is a mum, and she makes it look easy. She speaks up and is heard.”
– Louise Eeles
We promise they did not collude on this, but Louise and our next respondent Julia chose each other as their sources of inspiration. It is great to see two ZigZaggers lifting each other up simultaneously and shows that those that you admire may be just as motivated by you!
“I find Louise to be a very inspiring colleague in that she is always so enthusiastic and vivacious which is contagious to both colleagues and clients alike. Louise has 2 young children too which I can relate to and juggles home and work life brilliantly – always to be admired!”
– Julia Newell
“I am inspired from all people in my team. But I would like to name Sheila Namuleme and Niki Paton – for me they are a great example of strong, smart Logistics Ladies who are always ready to share their knowledge with me.”
– Tsvetina Videnova
“Maria Kuznechenkova is ALWAYS willing to help regardless of the time of day or day of the week! If she cannot directly assist she will find the right person(s) to help. Her interpersonal skills are commendable, her attention to detail drives her quest for knowledge!”
– Kim Tam Lit
“I have come across two Laura’s whilst at ZigZag and both are equally impressive. Not only their professionalism and hard work but also they both manage to juggle family commitments and the demands of young children. Would love more Laura’s in the business!”
– Jamie Powell-Tuck
“Magdalena Dalakova – Very little phases our Maggie, she’s smart, possesses the special skill of really getting both the tech and the customer, which is not easy to find. She lives and breathes ZigZag and sometimes it’s easy to forget that she is still young, she has an incredible future ahead of her.”
– Hannah Dawson
“Niki P. Watching her growth over the last year or so is just mindblowing. She has gained so much confidence and learned so many new skills. It really re-inspires and pushes me to keep improving my knowledge and to try and find where I want to improve my skills next. She is always willing and wanting to find a solution and doesn’t get too bogged down in the issue. She is a great reminder to just keep pushing!”
– Nickie Deepak
“Milena and Gabby in our finance team are diligent, super hard working, and have an amazing attention to detail. They are never afraid to ask questions or challenge when something doesn’t look right. They are a joy to work with!”
– Laura Davies
“Difficult to pick one as I’m very new to ZigZag but what I can tell is that, all the women I’ve met so far have a great energy! Every Monday morning when I connect to the ZigZag weekly call, I see all the lovely smiles on their face and that cheers me up for the week!”
– Elise Guingand
A final word from our Co-Founder & CEO
Al Gerrie told us, “I really value having a diverse team that is well balanced, and I am inspired by having great women in all our teams across the business. ZigZag is a tech company – which is a notoriously male heavy industry, but we have always encouraged equality and we hire well above the industry average for a software business. Many of our strongest team members and leadership are women, which is something we are proud of and will continue to promote.”
We certainly hope that we have created an inclusive environment that empowers our employees to share ideas, develop skills, and progress their careers! If you are interested in joining our team, please check our careers page on LinkedIn or our website, or just enquire about recent job openings by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!