Katrina Liddell has always had a deep-seated curiosity about the world around her, something that was initially encouraged by her engineering father.
“He taught me that I could get to the bottom of anything if I was curious enough,” Liddell recalled. Like her father, this inquisitiveness first led her to a degree in chemical engineering — but she wasn’t content to stop there. After changing industries, Liddell ultimately found herself in sales at XPO Logistics, one of the largest providers of transportation and logistics services in the world. As Senior Vice President of Sales for North American Transportation, she says her inquiring mind is in good company.
“My love of learning is one of the things that attracted me to XPO,” Liddell, who has oh-so casually earned an additional degree, in law, while at the company, said. “I switched industries to come here because XPO has a great story and offered me the chance to do something completely different from the industrial products and services industry that I worked in previously. I wanted to be part of what XPO is building.”
Today, she works with teams to develop commercial strategies for an array of business units. It’s work that she calls both “fascinating and challenging,” with daily opportunities to roll up her metaphorical shirt sleeves and get to problem solving.
“It’s not just about getting our business units to work more closely together,” she said. “It’s about figuring out how, by combining their strengths, we can create additional value and new services for customers.”
Recently, Liddell shared with Fairygodboss what gives XPO its “culture of acceptance,” as well as her No. 1 tip for job seekers who want to feel equally invigorated and nourished.
What about XPO stood out to you and made you want to join?
Two big things (and many small things). The two big things are the people and the vision. Every person I met while going through the interview process was high energy, had great ideas and felt empowered to act on those ideas. In addition, XPO’s ability to use all the different parts of its business to create value and benefit for the customer is outstanding. I wanted to be part of that.
What’s been your favorite aspect of working at XPO?
I love that while there are plenty of people who have been with XPO for many years, there are also many new people from both in and out of the industry. This balance leads to awesome creativity, different ways to think about the market and, ultimately, excellent results for our customers, employees and investors.
How about outside of the office; how does XPO support your approach to work-life balance?
Balance can be hard. I often think of it more as work-life integration. Many women feel guilt over their attempts to integrate the personal and the professional, but I’ve found that I can have a great career at XPO and still be there for my family. Things like reading books together with my kids on FaceTime when I’m traveling and being intentional about being present when I’m home help. The company has a culture of acceptance that’s really fantastic. There’s no silver bullet, but if you have the right people around you as I do at home and at XPO, you have the support you need.
What’s one thing you think young job seekers should know about XPO?
XPO is a leader in a massive market. Because XPO is relatively “new,” we are different from other logistics companies. We spend money on technology, we invest in our people and we encourage innovative thinking.
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