There was a time when logistics - working at a fulfillment center or as an industrial vehicles driver - was seen as a career for men alone. But things have changed in the last decade with more women taking up entry-level and technical roles, from inventory management to warehouse supervision. Further, Amazon is breaking stereotypes by training more women to drive industrial machinery and forklifts—powered trucks that can lift heavy materials.
The quest for financial stability
Meet Akshatha, a forklift driver trained by Amazon, who works as an associate at the company's fulfillment center in Bengaluru. Originally from Shimoga district in Central Karnataka, Akshatha comes from a family of six where her father and brothers are daily wage workers. With the desire to be financially independent, Akshatha worked for several e-commerce companies in the past but was on the lookout for the right opportunity to enhance her skills.
She joined Amazon's Bengaluru fulfillment center in 2017 and was inspired to see other associates drive heavy machine vehicles there. Soon she enrolled in a one-month training program to receive her license to drive a forklift.
Akshatha’s passion and dedication were evident throughout her training, and she soon became a licensed forklift driver. In the last one year, she has also inspired other female associates to learn forklift driving.
"I strongly believe that every woman should have the chance to pursue their dreams and aspirations. I have always been extremely confident in my abilities and knew that I could operate a forklift with ease. I am grateful to Amazon for believing in my capabilities and offering me the necessary resources that has helped me flourish. Throughout my journey, my family has been my biggest support system." says Akshatha.
A day in a forklift operator's life
In a typical day, Akshatha takes stock of items at the Bangalore fulfilment center and stows them in bins. As a forklift operator, her responsibilities include picking, stowing and moving items to be prepared for dispatch.
Akshatha wants to inspire other women to join e-commerce operations and pursue their dreams. She is eager and willing to train women who share her interest in industrial machines. Abhinav Singh, Director, Customer Fulfilment, Supply Chain & Amazon Transportation Services, Amazon India, says: "At Amazon India, we are dedicated to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce. It is immensely inspiring to see individuals like Akshatha succeed and become role models for others. I have no doubt that she will continue to excel and inspire everyone on her journey."
#SheIsAmazon: Diversity within Amazon's operations
Amazon continues to make progress in building a more diverse workforce, with the number of women in the field of logistics operations roles at Amazon increasing every day.
Aligned with this year’s International Women’s Day theme of Embrace Equity, Amazon's #SheIsAmazon campaign aims to highlight women who inspire, lead, innovate, and deliver smiles to customers.