The Importance of a Diverse Workplace & Increasing Opportunities for Women

at schneider logistics services

AT SCHNEIDER LOGISTICS SERVICES, diversity fuels innovation, improves strategic thinking and cultivates leadership. As a company, we strive to create an associate base representing the communities where we work, live, and do business, and we’re committed to fostering an inclusive workplace culture. Our history has taught us that treating everyone with dignity and respect is vital to our ongoing success. I am proud of the culture we have built.

In 1993, armed with a degree in Operations Management and Labor Relations from Penn State University, I started my career in Supply Chain Management. While applying for jobs after graduation, Schneider reviewed resumes of upcoming college graduates and asked me if I would want to interview with the company. I hadn’t necessarily considered a career in trucking and or logistics before that first invitation. But the more I learned about transportation, the more I wanted to explore this people-centric, solutions-oriented and tech-forward industry.

The recruiter mentioned during the interview that the potential team role leads 35-40 professional drivers. In doing so, I would be a part of 35-40 families as you maintain relationships with each driver and help them grow a solid career for themselves and their families. I knew Schneider was the place for me, and it became immediately apparent to me as I began working with drivers to create a schedule that worked not only for them and their families but also for the business. Twenty-eight years later, what I still value most about Schneider is their continued focus on family oriented and forward-thinking business practices.

It took me time to realize I was working in what had been a male-dominated industry. On and off the road, we aim to nurture an inclusive environment where associates receive the opportunities and the coaching needed to advance careers. Something I’ve had the chance to experience and benefit from (and contribute to) throughout my career. Schneider pushed me and helped me grow into new opportunities that I may not have pursued had that advocacy structure not been in place.

We are still working to increase diversity across the company to this day. Schneider continues to enhance its talent processes to reinforce important diversity, equality, and inclusion expectations for associates. Schneider’s first Campus Diversity Recruiter helps ensure our talent pipeline is inclusive and accessible. Additionally, we continue to target recruitment efforts toward attracting diverse talent, and we use a third-party tool to create gender-neutral job postings. These and other diversity efforts are critical to bringing various perspectives to the organization and ensuring we’re building a representative team.

At Schneider, we are proud to have built a proven track record of empowering women. The trucking industry took notice of our efforts when we were named a “Top Company for Women to Work for in Transportation” by Women in Trucking (WIT). We were recognized for a diverse corporate culture, competitive compensation, benefits, professional development, and career advancement opportunities.

at schneider logistics services

Another initiative I have been involved in and have a deep passion for is the Schneider Women’s Network1 (SWN), a business resource group aimed at helping us recruit, develop, and retain the best female talent to ultimately maximize business results. Because Schneider was one of the first companies in Green Bay—and one of the first transportation companies in the country—to form a women’s network, it led to other organizations reaching out to us for help on how to start their own women’s network. The SWN regularly hosts and coordinates a wide variety of large-scale events for people to meet and make connections. We help industry members connect, and Schneider associates can take advantage of training programs, development sessions, resources on becoming a mentor or mentee, book suggestions and book reviews.

It’s essential to have women in leadership roles, especially for new employees. Seeing someone with a similar background achieve success shows that your own goals are achievable. Anytime we can increase the diversity of perspective is phenomenal. Before testing anything in the marketplace, it’s essential to have that level of diversity inside your team to have a maximum level of insight. I love looking at how far the enterprise has grown and seeing women leaders across Schneider’s business practices.

I would like to highlight four of the strong female leaders at Schneider:

Jaime Wilson: Innovation Manager

“When I first started at Schneider, 20 years ago, I wanted to be part of an industry that made a difference. At the time I was unaware just how crucial the logistics and transportation industry is in everyday life. I believe transportation and logistics is a growing, changing and innovative industry. There are many intelligent, strategic-driven women in the transportation and logistics industry.”

Hope Zellner: Vice President of Operations – Bulk

“The women’s network at Schneider has helped me understand the importance of taking time out of the day for self-development. I come away from each event feeling refreshed and energized, and I’m a better leader because of it. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of letting daily work take priority over personal development when truly, investing in ourselves makes us much more effective in our daily work.”

Inna Schimmel: Director, Engineering and Data Science

“The Transportation and Supply Chain industry has historically been dominated by men. Given that women make up half of the population in the U.S., being more representative in transportation would also mean tapping into a large pool of skilled, diverse candidates, and in today’s world, most companies are increasingly focusing on diversity, so it is a win/win when women are filling those roles. The Transportation and Supply Chain industry has countless career opportunities in a wide range of disciplines from manufacturing to sales, procurement, customer service, transportation, finance, technology, innovation and analytics.”

Moira Callan: Digital Marketing Director

“The Schneider culture fosters diversity of perspective and respect, and the women’s network amplifies the culture. It connects women leaders and associates to form a group of cheerleaders and confidants to help tackle everyday experiences women face in business. I find it inspiring to hear the stories behind our female leaders who have such grace and strength. Their stores speak to the chances they took and objections they overcame. I walk away from those networking sessions with new ideas and perspectives on how to make my next step with greater ease and confidence.”

Erin Van Zeeland is group senior vice president and general manager of Logistics Services at Schneider, a premier provider of transportation, logistics, and intermodal services, enhancing living standards worldwide. Van Zeeland started her career at Schneider in 1993 as a service team leader at the Harrisburg Operation Center and was subsequently promoted to operations/customer service integration manager, van operations in 1995 before becoming the operations center manager at Schneider’s headquarters in Green Bay, Wisconsin in 1997.


1 Schneider Women’s Network;