Platinum Business Magazine: Is it unusual for a woman to be a co-owner or director in the logistics/transportation industry?
Danielle Bunn: No I don’t believe so, it may be a lower percentage but women
do hold senior positions within the industry, after all it was in fact Hilary Devey who started one of the most recognised companies within the pallet network industry.
PBM: Have you faced any sexism or people who unwittingly treat you as an employee?
DB: I wouldn’t say sexism however there can be a few surprised faces when I start unloading their vehicles with a forklift or when I leave the yard in an 18-ton lorry. We have built the business from the ground up so there is nothing that I would expect someone to do if I hadn’t done it myself.
PBM: What are the challenges that face a woman in a largely male-dominated industry?
DB: I guess that women may feel somewhat intimidated at first but as I have grown up around the haulage industry, I don’t give it a second thought. I think that a new-found respect is gained when people learn of the skills that I have developed and that I do know what I am talking about.
PBM: Do you think having a female director allows DNA to offer a different perspective?
DB: I think it allows the business to be less one dimensional. Whilst I am of the mind that we are all equal it can lend itself well to certain staff situations or client negotiations. Don’t get me wrong, we win and retain business and staff on merit, however it’s only natural that for some they prefer to deal with a woman.
PBM: How does your professional relationship work as part of a husband and wife team?
DB: As you can imagine it can be interesting at times particularly when we don’t necessarily share the same view. However, we have learned to respect each other and moreover we have the same values so generally we reach the same conclusions together.
PBM: Do you switch off at home or are you always talking about the business?
DB: It’s difficult to switch off as we run a 24/7 operation and of course when your business plays such an important part in your life it becomes part of the family. I feel sure that by now my two children would have enough knowledge between them for them to come in and run the business! We do our best to take time out to relax but DNA will always be at the forefront of our minds.
PBM: What advice would you offer to young women starting in the industry?
DB: Go for it! It’s a very interesting and diverse industry and seldom a dull moment! I have got to where I am in the industry through hard work and dedication as well as determination in offering our clients the very best service and our staff the very best opportunities possible. It is a constant challenge given the various hurdles that everyday brings but it is ultimately satisfying when you stop for a minute to look at what you have achieved.
PBM: What are your personal and business ambitions?
DB: Being on a hot sunny beach! Seriously, to continue doing what we do. We have seen significant growth over the last couple of years and with the recent acquisition of Lancing Driver Training, which is now part of the Aloto Group, I can’t see us slowing down any time soon. There are so many interesting elements to our business which makes it exciting as to what the future may hold.
DNA offers business delivery solutions across Europe.
DNA, Iain Stewart Centre, City Place, Gatwick RH6 0PB