Alyssa Slaughter is a problem solver. That skill has served her well at XPO Logistics, which is known for providing pivotal supply chain solutions to many of the world’s leading companies. XPO is also known for supporting women and families as a core value for its 100,000 strong workforce. The company currently offers more than 30 family benefits and tuition reimbursement. It partners with academic programs in addition to investing in discussion series’, videos and courses for all employees.
Alyssa Slaughter is currently Director, Operations at XPO Logistics, and she also started the first digital office at XPO Brokerage, among other accomplishments. She’s a woman in a traditionally male industry, which was an adjustment for her. Alyssa says, “Women are fully capable of being successful in this industry just as much as men. You have to find your voice and be confident in that.” She recently talked to Fairygodboss about her career and how she has used her problem-solving skills in her career, and why her mom is her hero.
Tell us a bit about your job at XPO. What’s your current role, and what did your career path look like prior to being in this role? What excites you about your work?
I am currently a Director, Operations for XPO Logistics. I manage one of the largest branches in our Brokerage Division, which includes sales and operational strategies to grow people and accounts, tenured and new. I started at XPO in 2012 as an Account Executive and moved into various roles within the organization. Most recently, I was a Regional Training Manager, Sales & Operations Manager and started our first Digital Office at XPO Brokerage.
The career path is there, but there are also paths that can help you achieve your personal goals. XPO is an organization that is always evolving. I bleed XPO red. I love solving problems and being challenged. This industry gives me that opportunity every single day.
Being a woman in a male-dominated industry often comes with a set of challenges. What are some of the obstacles you’ve had to overcome?
I have always been outspoken but coming into a male-dominated industry with little to no experience was difficult. Once I found my voice and my value to the organization, it helped me grow into the leader I am today. XPO has built an environment of people supporting people. We must share the successes and grow from the failures together.
I am currently expecting my second child and my team and upper management has been so supportive throughout the process.
How does XPO empower women to “shatter the glass ceiling,” and what programs are in place to drive these efforts? Have you used any of these programs to further your own career at XPO?
One of XPO’s values is Diversity. Our #SheIsXPO — Women and Allies employee resource group provides a community for connection, engagement and networking across the company while fostering an environment that promotes allyship, leadership, mentorship and professional development. Additionally, XPO offers WISE, the Women’s Inclusion Series, where women in business share their success stories and obstacles they have overcome. I appreciate all the shared experiences and women coming together to build each other up.
How have you used your role to help bring up other women behind you? How do you build time into your schedule for this kind of work?
I recently promoted a woman into a management role, but not because she is a woman, because she truly deserved it. She had the experience, the drive and the skills that are needed for the role. I will lead anyone to water, but if they drink is up to them. I always give everyone a chance to be successful and push them to their limits. This happens in daily conversations to extensive meetings.
What’s the one career move you’ve made that you’re most proud of?
For me, starting the first Digital Office at XPO Brokerage was a great success story and a position I learned the most so far about myself. I had the autonomy to create a branch from the ground up and helped to expand our customer-facing technology internally and externally. That opportunity gave me the confidence for the largest career move to date — the role that I am in currently.
What women inspire you the most? Do you have any heroes who were trailblazers in their lives and work?
My mom has been a true warrior in her field. She started out as a fashion buyer for years which led her to be extremely successful in business sales for the last 20+ years. She hits goal after goal and continues to push herself to the limit. She has taught me to be strong, bold and creative. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her.
What’s your #1 piece of advice for women who are looking to break into a career in the Logistics & Supply Chain industry?
Speak up. Be yourself. Women are fully capable of being successful in this industry just as much as men. You have to find your voice and be confident in that.
What’s your favorite benefit or perk working at XPO?
My favorite thing about working at XPO is the people that I work with and the relationships that I have built since I have been here.
What’s the most memorable piece of career advice you’ve received?
To go for it! There comes doubt from time to time. If you are ready, move to another role or try a new challenge. Someone once gave me advice to always take the call. I like to listen and learn about other opportunities for growth and it’s led me in the right direction thus far. So, I always take the call.
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