Since 2016, the number of female material handlers in the Mt. Sterling warehouse has skyrocketed from just a few to more than 200. And as more and more women started to join the warehouse team, a small group took the initiative to start a committee to ensure that female warehouse workers were given the resources and camaraderie to build successful careers.
With the support of the Mt. Sterling Warehouse Diversity Oversight Committee, the aptly named “Women of the Warehouse” (or “WOW”) was founded to encourage and engage women working in the warehouse environment while promoting diversity improvement opportunities.
Recent WOW-driven initiatives have included:
A Mother’s Room upgrade near the Frozen Warehouse
Female-specific PPE (bibs and coats) for the Frozen Warehouse
More options and an easier reimbursement process for female safety footwear
A more inclusive dress code for warehouse workers
An overtime incentive system that allows employees to take last minute hours off without tapping into PTO
And their efforts are not limited merely to the walls of the Mt. Sterling warehouse. Every October, in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, WOW hosts a company-wide t-shirt fundraiser to raise money for a non-profit dedicated to finding a cure. Over the past few years, this initiative has expanded beyond the warehouse to other Mt. Sterling departments and even other nationwide distribution centers. In 2021, WOW raised more than $9,000 for a local charity.
WOW includes more than 20 members who meet every other month to discuss opportunities and challenges for female workers. A four-person leadership committee also meets on a weekly basis with every meeting, initiative, and event designed to raise awareness and improve the work lives of women in the warehouse.
WOW is open to any warehouse worker who has completed training and has manager approval. Interested prospective members can contact Lori Orr for more information.