DB Schenker Cultural Diversity

Introducing Powerful Women of DB Schenker

With a diverse workforce and a high percentage of female executives and employees, DB Schenker celebrates those who bring their best to the job — and to their personal lives — every day.

An integral part of the modern workforce, women make up about 40% of the total workforce in most countries around the world. Through its #TakeChargeforDiversity campaign and other initiatives, DB Schenker continually celebrates the strong, powerful women who make up its workforce.

“Diversity and Inclusion is not a ‘nice to have’ thing, it is a key enabler for sustainably growing our business, speaking the language of our customers, and becoming an attractive employer across all regions and countries.” said Jurgita Penikiene, Program Lead Diversity & Inclusion. 

To recognize the powerful and talented women, that drive the organization to higher levels of success we want to give a platform to hear their stories and voices. Here are some of these stories: 

Elizabeth, HR Officer

Raised in Kenya and one of six siblings, Elizabeth never allowed a lack of money to prevent her from dreaming. Today, she is a Human Resources Officer at DB Schenker’s office in Kenya.

When it comes to career advancement, Elizabeth credits her own strengths plus a strong support network that helped her succeed. “I never give up and I am always willing to learn,” says Elizabeth. “Both my personal family and my DB Schenker family help me in reaching my goals.”

Elizabeth says she also owes a big portion of her success to her late and beloved mother Rose. “Having a low-paying job as a civil servant, she still managed to raise six kids and guaranteed all of us a good education,” says Elizabeth, who has also had some strong, encouraging mentors along the way.

 “My local CEO, Darren and our Head of Human Resources, Jedidah, really supported me in the mission to further my career,” says Elizabeth.

Warmest regards and Asante sana kwa wale wote walionishaka mkono katika kazi yangu ya afisa wa rasilimali watu.

“This is Swahili, saying my appreciation to everyone who has supported me in my work as an HR officer”, Elizabeth says.

Vanessa, Vice President Global Retail & E-Commerce Vector Market

As the “Queen of Sales” for Schenker's warehousing solutions for omni-channel in France, Vanessa is at home both in real warehouses and on digital solution platforms.

In her career, Vanessa follows five main principles: be brave; never give up; combine cultural differences and diversity; stay authentic and be honest; play like a teammate.

“Some years ago, e-commerce was often seen as just another trend,” says Vanessa, of her commitment to be brave. “I saw a strong need for the creation of the vertical market Global Retail & e-Commerce. Now, I head this department. I wouldn’t be here if I hadn't strived for my vision.”

I wouldn’t be here if I hadn't strived for my vision.

As for never giving up, Vanessa says that while developing new ideas is not always fun, if you feel you have the one and only life-saving idea, hang in there. “My arguments are always based on a solid business plan and key performance indicators (KPIs),” she explains. “Also, I never stop talking to people, winning them over with my ideas and making them my fellow campaigners.”

Combining two nationalities and speaking five languages, Vanessa says she’s as diverse as her team, which comprises men and women of four different nationalities (and from two continents). “For me, this is the perfect match,” says Vanessa. “This diverse team really makes us powerful when dealing with international customers; we understand our customers' needs perfectly.”

Thessa, Chief Commercial Officer

60% of DB Schenker Brazil's employees are female. Responsible for setting sales strategies and interacting with IT, Finance, Human Resources, and other departments, this Chief Commercial Officer-Brazil works to identify the best business opportunities for DB Schenker.
According to Thessa, there’s a lot of fairness in DB Schenker – Brazil’s recruitment process. “There’s no cherry picking by gender or salary,” says Thessa. This approach translates into a majority representation for women in operational supervisory and management positions. 

“Three out of five branch managers and three out of nine board members here are women,” says Thessa, who would personally like to see more women on the company’s warehouse operational staff and serving as global board members. 

Although I am glad to work in a non-discriminative environment, we know every day a lot of women suffer and fight against discrimination.

“Although I am glad to work in a non-discriminative environment, we know every day a lot of women suffer and fight against discrimination,” says Thessa, who believes strongly in the self-empowerment of women in Brazil and to believe in their rights and to shamelessly fight for them.
This topic is very special for Thessa, who has two 5-year-old daughters and one more on the way. “I’m sure they will carry this fight,” she says. “They may eventually suffer discrimination, but hopefully in a different or easier environment than I did.”

Fanny, Key Account Manager

In her current role, Fanny takes care of new business implementations and looks after global operational performance in China.
It’s quite a challenging job, especially when trying to meet customers' demanding KPIs.

But that's only one part of Fanny’s life: her free time is dedicated to her four-year-old son Haohao. “For me, there is a no-go question when talking about women and career: how do you balance family life and career? It’s a question you would never ask a Chinese man,” she explains. “However, in China, working women are always asked this question - even by our own families.”

Fanny feels that in the workforce, all individuals should be judged on their skills and job qualities. “Right now, although Chinese women are getting better job opportunities, they still face some obstacles and discrimination when it comes to career development,” she explains.

Right now, although Chinese women are getting better job opportunities, they still face some obstacles and discrimination when it comes to career development.

“This is mostly due to women's reproductive and family responsibilities. I dream of an equal world offering the same opportunities for everyone.”

Asked what is on her wish list for all women around the globe, Fanny says, “equal pay". She sees herself as just one of thousands of working moms within the DB Schenker organization who was lucky enough to be recognized by the company. “I’m very happy that I could have this chance to speak out for the women who are in the same position that I am,” says Fanny. “Keep fighting, my fellow female professionals!”

Cecilia, Managing Director 

After 28 years of experience in the forwarding business, Cecilia was hired by DB Schenker Peru as Managing Director in 2018.
Since then, she’s leading the organization towards the fulfillment of the country’s goals. “As Managing Director, I am fully responsible for managing and defining objectives and goals for the year,” says Cecilia, “and ensuring the success of the company’s management in terms of profitability and market leadership.”

According to Cecilia, DB Schenker emphasizes gender equality regarding leadership functions or positions. “A team of women with representatives of each region has been created by our airfreight global department,” says Cecilia, “and I had the privilege to represent the Americas Region in the first forum in June 2019 in Singapore.”

I had the privilege to represent the Americas Region in the first forum in June 2019 in Singapore.

At the meeting, one key discussion point was how to increase female representation in airfreight leadership positions. “The conclusions have already been submitted to the Global Air Freight Manager and are reviewed on a regular basis,” says Cecilia. “It was a great professional experience to share with these leading women of DB Schenker from around the world.” 

Manuela, Head of Air Freight Export

For Manuela, no two days are ever the same when working in airfreight. In fact, she says that every task is different when leading a team of 30 colleagues. Despite this, Manuela still finds the time and energy to support a Nepalese aid organization.

Manuela started her career as an industrial clerk in a jewelry shop. Twenty-five years ago, she joined DB Schenker to explore the logistics involved in each imported and exported good. Now, she has a job that she loves.

“DB Schenker's international network means everything to me, even in my private life,” says Manuela, who is based in Germany. “No matter where I head for vacation—China, Spain, Finland, Singapore, etc.—I always take the time to meet with my local colleagues.”

These days, Manuela uses most of her annual leave to support the "Nepal Schulprojekt" charity organization, which provides support for Nepalese children. “I’ve seen a lot of despair over the years, when visiting kindergartens, schools, and homes for the handicapped,” says Manuela, who at one point helped to build a solar plant in Jalbang, a village in the Northwest of Nepal that previously had no electricity.

For one year, she collected money and organized the logistics behind this project, which meant every single component had to be transported by mule for 54 kilometers at an altitude of 3,800 meters. “Seeing the light from an electricity bulb for the first time in their life, people started to cry,” says Manuela.

Don't wait until you are asked to be promoted to a new job; just apply. You are worth it!

To women around the world, Manuela cautions against striving for perfection. “Just put yourself in the driver's seat,” she says. “Don't wait until you are asked to be promoted to a new job; just apply. You are worth it!"

It is always a good time to explore the various career opportunities that DB Schenker has open in its locations around the world. Known for its welcoming, inclusive workplace and excellent corporate culture, DB Schenker is a great choice for women all around the globe.


If you would like to get more information on any Women in leadership or Diversity topic, please get in contact with us.

We look forward to receiving your call/email!

Schenker AG
Jurgita Penikiene
45128 Essen, Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 201 8781 -8164