We often witness a rise in token initiatives by various organizations around celebratory days like Women’s Day, and Mother’s Day. One such initiative was hiring female employees to handle ecommerce deliveries. But we are happy to report that it didn’t end up being just a token initiative.
More and more companies including the ecommerce industry have added women staff members in their delivery entourage.
Amazon, Hey Dee-Dee & others rely on women delivery riders
In January 2016, Amazon India launched two ‘women only’ delivery hubs to handle sorting, delegating and delivering orders tasks.
The number of delivery agents in Amazon’s both delivery stations (Thiruvananthapuram and Chennai) has more than tripled. The Thiruvananthapuram station now has 15 women delivery employees compared to last year’s 4 and Chennai’s count went up from 3 to 10.
Delhi-based delivery start-up Even Cargo hires only female delivery personnel. Their vision is to ‘create a gender harmonious world, where everyone will have an equal opportunity to earn their livelihood irrespective of their gender.’ Delivery service Hey Dee-Dee is another such company with female associates that deliver packages of Amazon, ShopHop, Pizza Hut, Subway and many others.
Not just for women empowerment, say companies
Hiring women might have been a move to promote equal opportunity but there are other reasons why businesses are more than happy to expand this initiative. Some of the reasons are:
- High retention rate
- Customers appreciate the service
- Women delivery agents are earnest, hard-working and focused
- Better soft-skills compared to men
“Attrition has not been a challenge. In fact, many of the women who work in these stations take great pride to be pioneers in this field and are reached out to by other women looking for opportunities to work,” said Akhil Saxena, VP- India Customer Fulfilment at Amazon India.
Aman Lal, Chief People Officer at KFC India shared that because of customers’ positive feedback, they are planning to employ more women.
“In our experience, women associates are sincere, diligent and extremely focused. With delivery taking an increasing share of our overall mix, we want to ensure that we provide outstanding service there as well.”
Self-defence lessons to ensure safety of women delivery force
Companies understand that delivery executives are at a higher risk, especially women. Therefore, etailers like Amazon offer self-defence classes to their female delivery agents. Besides that, firms also ensure that they don’t work late in the night. There are dedicated helpline numbers as well to provide support.