Published on 1 March 2022 General Interest
“We’re gaining ground, but women still remain a minority in transport”
Interview with Raquel Leiva, Customer Service Manager, Back Office
One of the statistics that we’re proudest of at OnTurtle is the female presence in our staff: 50% of our team is female, which shows that professional transport has long ceased to be a man’s world. With the aim of making this parity visible and normalising it in all areas of the sector, this March we’re launching the #WomeninTransport campaign, through which we want to platform the work of 5 women in our company. We’re starting with our Customer Service Manager, Raquel Leiva, who leads OnTurtle’s Back Office.
- How and when did you start your adventure in the world of transport? Was it with OnTurtle?
My transport adventure started when I joined RedTortuga, now OnTurtle, almost 18 years ago. It was a totally unknown world for me and it poses a constant challenge: it’s a very changeable industry, which means you have to continually adapt to new situations, and even stay one step ahead to keep up with these changes. It’s stimulating.
- What does your work consist of?
My job is to ensure that OnTurtle provides excellent service to our customers. My mission is to ensure our network of service stations, with over 1,600 supply points across 10 European countries, are the best choice for hauliers: fast, safe and high-quality refuelling.
- Your role is in customer service. Is the presence of 50% women in a company in this sector surprising?
The truth is that I joined OnTurtle straight away; it’s the company where I’ve grown professionally, and it’s a company where women have always been present in all areas. That’s why I’m not particularly surprised by this statistic, as it’s the one that’s been with me all these years. However, it is true that transport is a sector with a clearly male past, meaning the percentage of women is still lower today.
- Do you think women are valued equally to men in your specialism?
I’m involved in quality management from an administrative point of view, which is an area in which I’ve never encountered any inequality. So, for me, women and men are valued indiscriminately. There are no gendered differences.
- Have you ever found yourself involved in a situation that surprised you? Tell us an anecdote.
No, I’ve never encountered any surprising or uncomfortable situations in my job because I’m a woman, or because of the work I do. On the other hand, as they say, there’s never a dull moment. It’s certainly true! In my job, every day there’s a new learning experience, both at the colleague level and at the customer level. To share an anecdote that impacted me at the time, I remember that we had a customer who managed to fill a truck with ethanol. Ethanol! It still perplexes me today: over my entire career, and in the 18 years I’ve been with OnTurtle, it was the only time I’ve ever encountered anything like it.
- From when you started to today, do you think we’ve evolved in this regard?
Of course we’ve evolved; little by little we’re achieving small changes. But women still remain a minority in some sectors, such as transport. This lack of visibility is even more evident depending on the area of work. For example, there are still many more men behind the wheel or in charge of the service stations themselves, and even in positions of power. But women continue to gain ground.