CILT(UK) > Events > National Events > Women in Logistics Conference

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Monday 21 - Friday 25 September 2020 | Online via Zoom


The Women in Logistics Forum are delighted to present to you the Virtual Diversity Roadshow, in partnership with XPO Logistics.


Hillary Clinton once said we needed to “find a way to celebrate our diversity and debate our differences without fracturing our communities”.  This autumn, the Women in Logistics Conference will be putting her words into practice within our professional community, by embracing a wider breadth of inclusive themes than ever before.


As we are unable to facilitate a face to face event, we have re-imagined the 2020 Conference, as the Virtual Diversity Roadshow; a series of five free, online sessions which will take place every lunchtime, across five days, from Monday 21 September to Friday 25 September.


We have a fantastic line up of expert panellists who will discuss a variety of topics in short, engaging sessions and audience members will be given the opportunity to ask questions and participate in a live discussion.


Please note, our Women in Logistics events are extremely popular and places to each session are limited. Make sure you don’t miss out and secure your place today by using the booking links below.


Check out the 2020 sessions below: 

Monday 21 September (1pm - 2pm) – Diversity in Logistics

What can the logistics sector do to tackle the challenge of diversity and inclusion? Ruth Waring, Compliance Director, Acumen Logistics, and Chair, Women in Logistics, will outline the purpose of Women in Logistics, followed by a panel discussion focusing on how we address the diversity agenda in our profession.

Tuesday 22 September (1pm - 2pm) – Resilience, Networking and Career Success in a Pandemic

Join this session and find out what you could do differently, to crack career success. If networking frightens you at the best of times, has lockdown made things easier or harder for you? Does the 'new normal' make job hunting even more daunting? How has working from home affected your emotional wellbeing, mental health, and professional development? Be resilient, be adaptable and live your best work life!

Wednesday 23 September (1pm - 2pm) – Relationship Building in Logistics

Respect and authenticity are essential to any mutually beneficial business relationship. Trust is also key, particularly in the logistics space where companies rely on 3PLs for mission-critical operations. Learn what some of the world’s biggest brands look for in building effective logistics partnerships.

Thursday 24 September (1pm - 2pm) – Championing Opportunities for People with Disabilities in our Workforce

Employers must make reasonable adjustments to prevent people living with disabilities from being disadvantaged.  It’s the law, but is that the only reason it matters?  Logistics is largely a labour-intensive industry.  Are you missing out on hardworking and dedicated people who could be a vital part of your talent pool?  Get practical advice from the experts on how to put that right.

Friday 25 September (1pm - 2pm) – How to be a Good Ally

"There's no magic wand for correcting diversity and inclusion. Change happens one person at a time, one act at a time, one word at a time" - Melinda Epler, Founder and CEO, Change Catalyst. 

What is allyship? How can you be a good ally? What difference can you make? We can all be an ally. We can all make a difference by taking the time to listen and learn and by being an advocate for underrepresented people. Join us for the final session of the Virtual Diversity Roadshow and make a commitment to be more diverse and inclusive.


Speakers - Monday 21st September

Ann Frye


Director, Ann Frye Ltd

Ann is an international specialist on the mobility needs of disabled and older people.

She works as an expert advisor to Governments and transport providers both internationally and in the UK on mobility options for people with physical, sensory, cognitive, and mental health issues. She is currently working in both the aviation and rail sectors and on access solutions for low income countries.

Ann has worked in this field for over 30 years; until 2006 she headed the Department for Transport’s Mobility & Inclusion Unit where she led research, legislation, and policy to establish rights and develop technical standards for accessibility.


Kevin Richardson FCILT

Chief Executive, CILT(UK)

Kevin joined The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) as Chief Executive in December 2015. An experienced senior logistics executive with over 35 years’ experience in the sector, he has extensive knowledge in operational and project management across Europe. Kevin is based at the Institute’s Corby headquarters.

A lifelong logistician, Kevin moved to CILT from XPO Logistics, formerly Norbert Dentressangle, where he held the role of European Development Director for four years. Prior to that Kevin spent 20 years at TDG Plc progressing from Implementation Director to Strategic Development Director.

Kevin is a long-term member of the Institute and is committed to raising the profile of the logistics and transport industry as well as moving the Institute forward through growth and development
Rob Nolan

Rob Nolan CMILT

Chair, CILT(UK) LGBT+ Forum

Rob finalist for the 2020 CILT diversity champion award, grew up in the very heteronormative Home Counties and never outwardly struggled with his sexual orientation. However, the subliminal homophobic abuse caused by the  use of slurs to negativity describe people and objects resulted in less than healthy patterns of behaviour which manifested in the workplace as a coping mechanism. 

Now, with almost a decade of experience in various supply chain, logistics and transport, Rob is currently in the process of establishing the CILT UK LGBT+ Professional Network to ensure allies and members of the community feel empowered and supported across the industry. 

Ruth Waring

Ruth Waring FCILT

Compliance Director, Acumen Logistics Group 

Compliance Director of Acumen Logistics Group, Ruth Waring FCILT is a recognised industry leader in the areas of logistics compliance, health and safety and operational improvements. Ruth recently served for two years on the Board of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport – representing the interests of women in the sector - and has 31 years’ experience of working in different roles within the transport industry.

Inn 2008 Ruth set up the voluntary organisation Women in Logistics UK. Ruth was recognised for her diversity work when she won “Industry Champion” at the FTA everywoman Transport and Logistics Awards and won “Top Influencer” award as part of the Logistics 100 2018.

Sunnah Habib

Sunnah Habib

Development Analyst, Wincanton

Sunnah is a Logistics and Supply chain management graduate and completed a year in industry. Through the NOVUS scheme, Sunnah secured a placement year with Wincanton as a business development analyst and worked on a variety of projects including automation and continuous improvement. Sunnah was inspired to study the progression of Muslim Women in logistics and dedicated her final year dissertation towards this. She will start her career as a graduate transport shift manager with Wincanton and one day aims to work in the field of humanitarian logistics.


Speakers - Tuesday 22nd September

Emma Osborn

Emma Osborn, 

Category Mangement Director, Network Rail 

I have worked in the railway industry, mainly at Network Rail, for 22 years. Network Rail is the £10bn+ per year turnover GB rail infrastructure owner and manager.

During that time I have enjoyed a number of senior roles in a variety of locations (Swindon, York, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, my living room!).

My key leadership roles have included managing the commercial relationships with train and freight operating companies, planning and delivering safe and successful track access and logistics for major engineering works, heading up the fourth biggest road fleet in the UK, and more recently, managing a major transformation programme and now taking a director role in our £7bn turnover commercial & procurement department.

I would say that I’m a leadership generalist and that my biggest successes have been leading turnaround situations where I need to build/rebuild a team, improve processes & behaviours, convert poor service into good service and transform reputation.

My current role is category management director for Network Rail, which involves building a high performing team to roll out a new, structured approach to developing commercial category strategies which strategically aligning business needs with supply market capability across multi-million pound spend areas. This is an enjoyable challenge in a highly devolved organisation with a core focus on safety, and service delivery for passengers & freight.

Marisa Baker

Marisa Baker, 

Senior Key Manger, Quest Employment

I am a Senior Account Manager specialising in New Business Implementation for Quest Employment with over 10 years experience in the Logistics Arena.

Recruitment is my passion! I get to create opportunities! For my candidates, my clients, my company and for me. My career is forming my own adventure… so why would I not love it?

I make it a personal goal to be an expert in my field. I thrive off learning and developing my skill set to provide enough goals and aims for the future.

I have recently been able to merge my passion for recruitment with supporting the most vulnerable. Those at a disadvantage in finding employment, for example: Ex-offenders, the homeless and those who suffer with disability.  I have had the pleasure of working with some outstanding local organisations who have allowed me to support the homeless getting back into work.

We all have the ability to break the cycle and do right by your own ideals which in turn creates a new set of standards for another to operate by.

Making people happy determines my success.

My success determines my knowledge.

My knowledge determines my power.

My power determines me!

Sharon Blyfield

Sharon Blyfield,

Business Partner, People and Culture, CCEP

Sharon has been in the business for 27 years in a variety of functions and roles. She joined the HR team 16 years ago, covering all elements of Supply Chain and now heading up the Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) Early Careers agenda for Great Britain.

Having spent the majority of her career developing young talent at the start of their careers, her current remit fits perfectly with her passion to create opportunities to support the next generation of young leaders. As part of her commitment, Sharon strives to work with strategic partners who challenge organisation’s approach to under representation of young people across all communities and works to create a level playing field in the recruitment process that might unconsciously deselect from those groups.

Sharon’s dedication and commitment to CCEP’s apprenticeship programme has been recognised by CCEP’s leadership team, as well as her peers and apprentices alike. She has received praise for her outstanding leadership of the programme, which has continued to grow and expand in line with the business’ Early Careers agenda. As well as recognition from the leadership team, Sharon is adored by the apprentices themselves, who see her as a trusted advisor and mentor.

Chris Dolby XPO Head...

Chris Dolby, 

Head of Talent Development, XPO Logistics 

Worked as a Learning and Development professional for over 20 years – for the past 15 years in Logistics. Previous work experience with Nestlé, Christian Salvesen and Norbert Dentressnagle. Currently responsible for all people development activity in the UK and Ireland. This includes Leadership development, operational and ssafety training; leading the performance review and talent management processes, as well as XPO’s highly successful Graduate and Apprenticeship programmes.


Speakers - Wednesday 23rd September

Sarah Booth Pic

Sarah Booth. 

Account Director, Supply Chain - UK and Ireland, XPO Logistics

Sarah Booth is the Account Director at XPO Logistics in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Having worked in the company for more than 12 years, Sarah has responsibility for a number of key accounts which range from food services, ecommerce and Omni-channel with strong links in the communities in which we operate. In addition, Sarah has delivered many new business implementations in the Retail, Beauty and Cosmetics as well as Fashion sectors in supply chain. Sarah obtained a BSc degree in Computing and Management from Loughborough University and is a lean six sigma black belt and leads a team of Continuous Improvement Managers.  Sarah is also one of the leads for the UK Digital and Innovation Forum.

Jo Godsmark circle-0...

Jo Godsmark, 

COO, BigChange

Jo Godsmark is Chief Operating Officer of BigChange Limited, a leading provider of mobile worker and job management solutions, and is also Chair of the Board of Trustees for Transaid, the international development organisation specialising in transport solutions.

Previously a director of Labyrinth Logistics Consulting, Jo was jointly responsible for the development of Labyrinth’s award winning and pioneering cloud based audit system, SilkThread® (now BigChange Audit) in addition to leading Labyrinth’s consultancy projects in strategic consultancy, logistics and procurement.  Before moving into consultancy, Jo had a long career in engineering, manufacturing, logistics design and procurement at Mars

Jo is an active member of the CILT, Chair of the Outsourcing and Procurement Forum and is co-author of ‘The Logistics Outsourcing Handbook’ that built on much of the forum’s work. 


Gonta Kashio,

UK COO and EMEA Project Management Officer, Shiseido 

Gonta currently holds dual roles as Chief Management Officer of Shiseido EMEA Regional Headquarters based in Paris and Chief Operating Officer of Shiseido UK. Prior to assuming these roles in January, 2019, Gonta was formerly the Managing Director of the Business Development Department & M&A based in Shiseido Head Office (Tokyo, Japan). During his tenure, his department has executed three major transactions, two acquisitions in the United States and a Worldwide Fragrance License Agreement in Europe alongside 5 business divestitures.

Before relocating to back to Tokyo, Gonta was based in Milan, Italy serving as Executive Vice-President and Member of the Board of Shiseido Cosmetici Italia. His primarily responsibilities covered Strategic Planning, Structural Reforms and Finance Administration. Before Italy, Gonta was based in Shiseido Head Office (Tokyo, Japan), where during the 10 years, he served in the Corporate Business Development Department, Corporate Planning Department and the International Business Planning Department. In each department, Gonta’s primary responsibilities covered corporate strategic planning with a focus on the assessment and execution of cross-border Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Strategic Alliances. During this tenure, Gonta executed and closed 7 cross-border M&A transactions (France 3, North America 3 & UK 1) of which 3 have been part of a two-step transaction, - i.e. buying out a minority stake though a performance linked earn-out scheme, as well as 3 business divestitures (France 1 and North America 2).

Gonta holds a BA (Honours) degree in Joint Japanese & Economics / Business Studies from the University of Sophia (Tokyo) and a joint MSc degree in Business & Change Management from Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC), Paris and the University of Oxford (Templeton College). An EMBA from TRIUM (London School of Economics, New York University & Hautes Etudes Commerciales).

Outside of his professional life, Gonta enjoys Rugby, Triathlon, Scuba-diving (CMAS certified), Travelling and also holds an increasing interest in Social Entrepreneurism.      


Kevin Richardson, 

Chief Executive, CILT(UK)

Kevin joined The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) as Chief Executive in December 2015. An experienced senior logistics executive with over 35 years’ experience in the sector, he has extensive knowledge in operational and project management across Europe. Kevin is based at the Institute’s Corby headquarters.

A lifelong logistician, Kevin moved to CILT from XPO Logistics, formerly Norbert Dentressangle, where he held the role of European Development Director for four years. Prior to that Kevin spent 20 years at TDG Plc progressing from Implementation Director to Strategic Development Director.

Kevin is a long-term member of the Institute and is committed to raising the profile of the logistics and transport industry as well as moving the Institute forward through growth and development.

Matt Shephered Linke...

Matt Shepherd, 

Head of Global Shipping and Logistics, Ted Baker

Alice profile Sept 2...

Alice Spink, 

Warehouse Contract Manger, Nestle

Alice Spink is a 3rd Party Distribution Contract Manager at Nestle for the United Kingdom and Ireland.  Having worked for the Company for more than 15 years, Alice has responsibility for several key 3rd party contracts who handle the storage and RH&D for Nestle covering a variety of services including customer deliveries and ecommerce.  Alice is the operations lead for the transition into the new East Midlands Gateway site operated by XPO Logistics.  Alice started her career in the Production and Technical arena before moving into Supply Chain, gaining experience in Production Management, Supply Planning, Demand Planning and Logistics.  Alice obtained a BSc (Hons) degree in Nutrition from Nottingham University.


Speakers - Thursday 24th September

Ann Frye

Ann Frye,

Chair, CILT(UK) Accessibility and Inclusion Forum 

Ann is an international specialist on the mobility needs of disabled and older people.

She works as an expert advisor to Governments and transport providers both internationally and in the UK on mobility options for people with physical, sensory, cognitive, and mental health issues. She is currently working in both the aviation and rail sectors and on access solutions for low income countries.

Ann has worked in this field for over 30 years; until 2006 she headed the Department for Transport’s Mobility & Inclusion Unit where she led research, legislation, and policy to establish rights and develop technical standards for accessibility.

Neil Blackledge

Neil Blackledge, 

Site Manager, XPO Logistics

Neil Blackledge has been with XPO for the last 3 years but was part of the business pre takeover when we were Christian Salvesen and Norbert Dentressangle, in total over 24 years’ service.

Held various roles within this time span from Warehouse Operative right through all levels where I now sit as Site Manager on a Manchester based ecommerce and Wholesale contract. The sites I have typically worked on house circa 800 colleagues and operate 24/7.

Since entering the world of Management I have predominantly worked on Ecommerce / Retail contracts responsible for Profit and Loss, QHSE, Succession and Development, Continuous Improvement and Community and Social responsibilities in the local area to name a few.

To improve our regional CSR presence I have started working with Back on Track, a charity for disadvantaged adults, Walking With the Wounded, a charity for ex Veterans and DSA Workfit, an organisation who look to place Adults with Downs Syndrome into paid employment.

Fran Concannon heads...

Fran Concannon,

Specialist HR, XPO Logistics

Fran Concannon (previously known as Austin) was recently employed by XPO Logistics Europe as a Specialist HR at the Grand Central, Miss Guided site.

Previously, Fran worked for DSA WorkFit as an Employment Development Officer who place Adults with Downs Syndrome into paid employment. Here she gained experience in supporting both the employers and employees. Fran has previously placed over 50 people with Down's Syndrome into paid employment or work experience. Ongoing support, training, and advice were provided through the duration of the employment of the individual. 

Over the years, Fran has worked in a range of supportive roles from Supportive Internships to a Wellbeing Consultant. She has knowledge and understanding of how to support and get the best from people with additional needs and has a true passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Fran's favourite quote is from Verna Myers-"Diversity is being invited to the party; Inclusion is being asked to dance." Which she believes sums up what we do at XPO Logistics. 

carolin headshot

Caroline Eglinton,

Access and Inclusion Manager, Network Rail 

Caroline is the Access and Inclusion Manager at Network Rail, which maintains and develops Britain’s rail infrastructure. With some 42,000 employees, it is the fastest growing railway in Europe. Caroline contributes to a small centre of expertise (Diversity and Inclusion Team) which supports Network Rail’s ambition to be a more open, diverse and inclusive business. 

Caroline has worked for Network Rail for 15 years, in a number of programme management and business change roles before working on diversity and inclusion exclusively since 2018.   Caroline is a certified project manager and full member of the Association for Project Management and currently pursuing fellowship of the APM as part of her work to deliver D&I initiatives using programme methodologies.

Caroline leads on the Disability Matters workstream, the area within Network Rail’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 'Everyone Matters' which focuses being an inclusive employer for those with long-term conditions and impairments and the strategic direction and commitments to disabled and older passengers.

Jane Hatton Headshot

Jane Hatton, 

Director, Evenbreak

Jane is a disabled social entrepreneur, having worked in diversity and inclusion since 1990. She founded Evenbreak in 2011, an award-winning social enterprise run by and for disabled people, helping inclusive employers and talented disabled people find each other through a specialist and accessible online job board, and helping employers become more inclusive and accessible through online and offline training and consultancy.

Evenbreak is entirely staffed by disabled people.Jane is widely published in this field, including the books “A Dozen Brilliant Reasons to Employ Disabled People” (2017) and “A Dozen Great Ways to Recruit Disabled People” (2020). She is Patron of the Inclusive Skills Competitions and on the executive board of the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative. She has won a number of inclusion awards and was 7th on the Shaw Trust Power 100 ‘Britain’s Most Influential Disabled People’ list in 2019


Speakers - Friday 25th September


Lesley O'Brien,

Partner, Freight Train and Freightlink Europe

Lesley O’Brien is an award winning business professional, an advocate for women in transport and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT).  She is a tireless ambassador of the road transport industry using her voice whenever possible to promote compliance, raise standards, improve road safety and change industry perception.  

Her Company Freight Train offers transport compliance audits and Driver CPC training and Lesley hosts a monthly Freight People #talkingtransport forum encouraging people of all stages in their transport career, age and skills set to meet, listen to a presentation on an industry hot topic, discuss issues and share best practice. 

As a testimony to Lesley’s commitment to raising industry standards, her Company Freightlink Europe, is a founder member and one of the first vehicle operators to earn the accolade of being a DVSA Earned Recognition operator. 

Alero Linkedin pic

Alero Abbey, 

Area Manager, TfL

Alero Abbey has worked in the rail industry for over 20 years in multiple operational roles and she is currently the Area Manager for the Green Park and Euston Areas on London Underground. Alero is proud of delivering LU service provision and shaping its legacy. Alero has been at the forefront of delivering transformational change by rolling out the new operating model for LU Stations.

Alero passion stems from helping others achieve their full ambitions. Alero is credited with creating the career development programme designed to close the gap for women and BAME colleagues. The platform is recognised as a viable tool to support under represented groups towards the management pipeline.

Alero was one of the first recipients of TfL Platinum Award for Taking Personal Responsibility for her inspirational and role model approach to supporting others development. She also been named by Women in Rail and as one of 20 Most Inspirational Women in Rail in 2016. Alero was recently been awarded TfL Gold Award for promoting cost efficiency in LUL Customer Service Directorate.

Alero is a dedicated School Governor and also sits on the London Diocesan Board for Schools. She is a strong advocate for using education for shaping the lives of the next and future generations. Her innate desire is to utilise education as a tool to enable people to realise their dreams and fulfil their full potential, no matter their background. Alero is also a board member of Women in Rail and a committee member of SWIFT (Senior Women in (or formerly in) UK rail and their male allies) supporting her passion to help high potential women in the rail industry to progress in their career and/or transition to more senior roles.

Alero was a recipient of the British Citizen Awards in Recognition of outstanding contribution and services to the community.

Alero is an alumni of Lancaster University Business School.,

Alero’s mantra is that “there maybe barriers but the glass ceiling is hers to shatter!”

Neil Photo 3

Neil Micklethwaite, 

Business Development Director, Stagecoach Group

Neil Micklethwaite joined Stagecoach’s East Midlands Trains business in Summer 2012 as the Customer Experience & Commercial Director. In this role, Neil was responsible for all aspects of customer experience strategy, delivery and all commercial activity. This included the overall management of stations and on-train, including station improvement works, the introduction of UK Rail’s first 24/7 customer contact centre, as well as revenue, revenue management, marketing strategy, third party revenues and all long-term planning. He was additionally responsible for leading the successful East Midlands Trains directly awarded franchise extension.

In Spring 2016, Neil was promoted to the position of Commercial Director, Rail reporting into Tim Shoveller (Stagecoach Rail MD) supporting him and the Board in the delivery of shareholder, customer and client value at each of the Stagecoach Train Operating Companies.

In 2018, Neil’s role was expanded to Commercial & Business Development Director, Rail, taking in all franchise bidding and other Rail division development opportunities. In Spring 2019 when Stagecoach commenced the exit from UK Rail, Neil became Stagecoach’s Business Development Director, reporting into Ross Paterson. Neil took responsibility for managing our exit from UK Rail, as well as developing the Group’s wider strategy in bus and light rail contract bidding, managing our relationships with Virgin Group and developing our diversification with new products and new markets.

Neil, a qualified accountant, has worked extensively in the public transport sector; mainly rail industry, and has experience in financial services, telecommunications, media and central government. He joined British Rail as a management trainee in 1992 and held senior financial and commercial roles at both First Great Western and Chiltern Railways. He joined Stagecoach’s East Midlands Trains business from the global media company CBS Outdoor Ltd, where he was UK Bus & Rail Director. When Stagecoach operated in UK Rail, Neil was the chair of the Rail Delivery Group (rail industry trade association) Customer Board (the board for FDs, Commercial, Customer, Project Directors and CIOs).

In his spare time as well as being a Vice-President of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport, Neil will watch pretty much any live sporting event, go on holiday, and spend time with his family.

jenny naylor

Jenny Naylor, 

C1 Head of Profession Team (Logistics), MOD

Jenny Naylor grew up at the foot of the Campsie Fells just North of Glasgow in Central Scotland. During a brief flirt with further education at St Andrew's Teaching College in Bearsden she joined the Territorial Army and the Ministry of Defence at the Army Personnel Centre in Glasgow and has worked in Defence, both in uniform and as a civilian, for over 20 years in a variety of differing roles. She is currently in a middle management role in the Defence Support organisation, working out of Bristol, in direct support to the Head of Profession for Logistics in Defence. 



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