Lynn Parnell, Founder of Logistics Partners Consultancy
Helping operations directors achieve clarity on how tech can deliver their goals
Ever since my university days, and when I was the only female on my graduate programme, I’ve been used to working within male-dominated environments.
In 1990, when I secured my first role in the logistics sector, women were really scarce; I remember one depot I was based at didn’t even have a ladies’ toilet!
It was tough at times for a young, enthusiastic woman brimming with positivity to work alongside a legion of grey-haired, grey-suited men who had their own way of doing things, but I forged an identity all of my own. I wore bright clothes to match my bright ideas, and I earned the respect of my male colleagues.
After 10 years – having first worked operationally in warehouses before moving into IT with software houses – the company I worked for went into liquidation. At this stage in my career, I felt ready to establish my own consultancy. My husband and I were financially secure and I had built up a strong network of customer contacts within the industry, so I thought: “Why not?”
Following the launch of Logistics Partners in 2000, I hit the ground running – working with companies to introduce more efficient systems and technology. I knew after four years of success that I could become comfortable with my business model, that I was in it for the long haul.
It was 2005 I was diagnosed with ME following a sustained period of chronic tiredness. The condition has made me step back when I need to, but I have managed it for the past 14 years by making sure I’m flexible and sensible about how I live and work. We all have an internal battery and I know that mine takes a little longer to recharge. I’m a structured person by nature, so having routines and sticking to them keeps me well.
I remain passionate about my business and I’m delighted to see a more diverse workforce in today’s world of logistics. Having faith in those early days has led me to where I am today, so I always encourage people to never stop believing in what they’re doing. Working hard breeds success, but it’s just as important to look after yourself.