Byline: Shellea Crosby, Commercial Director
The parcel and courier sector has a long history of being perceived as a masculine and male-dominated field, and this is still very much the case, but slowly times and attitudes are changing, and women are thriving not only in this industry but also in senior positions.
At Tuffnells, newly appointed Commercial Director, Shellea Crosby, takes pride in working for and contributing to such an important sector. Admirably, Shellea has won awards for Internal Sales, Sales Manager and Region of the year during her time in the industry, just a few of many achievements from over the years and throughout her career.
Shellea’s career started in 2008 working in sales in the utilities industry. With redundancy on the horizon, she stumbled across a role working as a sales executive in the logistics and parcels industry. With no experience, long hours and finding that people weren’t always taking her seriously, she made it her mission to learn the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the industry from the ground up, which gave her the foundations of her leadership role today. “I’d class it as the hardest job I’ve ever had. However I learnt everything about our industry; about different types of customer, different ways of thinking, different types of freight and how it’s dispatched. I loved it.”
She moved to Tuffnells in April 2018 filling the role of Regional Sales Manager, responsible solely for new business. Shellea then moved into a newly created role, Regional Sales Director for the North, a role that also encompassed full P&L responsibility for the Northern Commercial region and associated sales and account management. This year, Shellea was promoted to Commercial Director, overseeing the whole sales, marketing and customer experience functions at Tuffnells.
Over the years, IDW (Irregular, Dimension & Weight) carrier Tuffnells has adapted to the challenges and hurdles faced by a logistics company. After suffering substantial financial losses in recent years under previous ownership, since the management buy-out in May 2020, and after the return of experienced leadership, within just eight months the company had completed a successful turnaround.
Shellea has been able to continually adapt to the industry’s challenges, helping her to play a vital role in moving Tuffnells forward, ensuring its success for another 100 years.
Shellea Crosby comments: “There have always been challenges for women in the industry, however for a lot of my career, many of the barriers have been my own. The more senior I became, the more I felt aware that in meetings and presentations I was stopping myself from speaking up. Personally, I feel a lack of confidence has in the past held me back more than the attitudes of the men I have worked with. I’m very fortunate to work for a company that is fully supportive of me, my role, my ambitions and – most importantly – my views and opinions on matters affecting the business.”
She strongly believes that women can bring something new to the industry: “I’m able to add a different perspective – put forward the pros and cons of any decision and help keep balance when sat around the boardroom table.”
When asked what her tips were to women looking to embark on a career in a male-dominated industry, or even for those who are already working within an industry where they may be one of few females, Shellea says: “Know that your opinion may be different, but that doesn’t make it wrong – a female perspective can be a positive, offering insight that men may not have considered.”