Deakin University's Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics (CSCL) has a plan to help the Australian logistics sector meet the challenges of the future by closing the gender gap and attracting fresh talent.

Fewer than one in ten workers are women in the supply chain industry, and there is a 21.8 per cent gender pay gap according to the CSCL.

"New talent and skills are desperately needed, but currently we're only accessing 50 percent of the talent," said the CSCL's director Dr Hermione Parsons.  "Ultimately, supply chain has an image problem.  We must change how the community sees supply chain and understands its enormous significance to the national economy if we're going to turnaround a rapidly ageing and male-dominated workforce."

The CSCL's initiative is called "Wayfinder: Supply Chain Careers for Women", and seeks to link industry demand for talented female workers with women and girls across the country through a series of luncheons.  It is funded by 13 foundation sponsors, including: Qube; ARTC; Woolworths; Lion; Toll; Viva Energy; Linx Cargo Care; VICT; and DP World.

With a million jobs linked to the supply chain, and new technologies coming on-line, proponents say now is the time to close the gender and pay gaps.

"The industry needs a different capability within their talent pool," said Belinda Flynn, Qube's General Manager for Health Safety and Environment.  "We're seeing the need to recruit for different types of jobs such as automation or robotics technicians, as well as innovation and IT specialists," she continued.

"This presents a golden opportunity for women to enter new career paths in supply chain today, and for young girls to choose courses now to get the best supply chain jobs of tomorrow."