When Ludivine Pons joined XPO Logistics nearly two years ago, she knew she’d have the opportunity to build on her knowledge of workplace analytics — a relatively new sector in Europe, where Pons and her wife live. And as a Workforce Analytics Director, she’d have the opportunity to set the tone for her new role, as well as her overall path at the company.
What she couldn’t have known then is just how enriching she’d come to find her job — not just on a professional level, but a personal one, too.
“It was the first time I felt I could truly be myself at work,” Pons said, recalling what it was like to start a brand new position at the same time that she and her wife were preparing to welcome a baby and she was completing an executive MBA program. “My managers in the U.S. and colleagues in Europe have been very supportive.”
XPO, she emphasized, is a company that’s “truly committed to diversity and breaking down barriers.” Recently, Pons told us what this walk-the-talk culture looks like, what initially helped her make the career change from consulting into HR logistics, and her No. 1 piece of advice to women looking for jobs right now.
How long have you been with XPO Logistics? What about it made you first want to join?
I’ve been here for one year and nine months. I love U.S. culture and have always worked for American companies. I really enjoy working at XPO because of the inclusive environment they’ve created. Additionally, workforce analytics is a new line of work in Europe and I wanted the opportunity to broaden my knowledge and understanding of analytics as it relates to HR.
Tell me about the roles that you’ve held at your company, as well as your current one. What about this role most excites you?
My current role as Workforce Analytics Director is my first position at XPO. What excites me most about this role is that we built it from scratch and it’s continuously evolving. What I’m doing today is completely different from what I was doing a year and a half ago. Every day I get to work with colleagues from around the world. My job allows me to present HR data to key stakeholders that helps them make informed decisions. It’s truly a unique opportunity that XPO has offered me.
How has XPO supported and/or empowered you to succeed in your current role?
My male managers have been instrumental in my success and continue to help me tackle challenges. I‘ve been lucky enough to have open-minded and empathetic leaders. Also, my many female colleagues are supportive and I consider them mentors in my professional journey. XPO is truly committed to diversity and breaking down barriers. XPO is vocal about doing the right thing, and we take the actions that back up our words.
How have you used your role to help encourage other women behind you? How do you build time into your schedule for this kind of work?
I always encourage women to make sure they evolve the way they want to professionally. I remember a woman on my team that I regularly promoted because she was very good at her job but she didn’t trust herself. I spent a lot of time talking to her and reassuring her of her current and potential talent.
What is the career move you’ve made that you’re most proud of?
I’m proud of each step I took that ultimately led me to XPO. My recommendation to every woman reading this is to create your own career path. You shouldn’t wait for someone to come to you with your dream role. You have to be proactive, which means taking risks as well and sometimes getting turned away. But that’s fine! It’s important to keep working towards your goals even when you hit roadblocks or challenges. You can also change career paths; it’s always possible. You just have to be passionate and put more energy into it! For example, I switched from consulting in the travel industry to HR reporting in Logistics.
What is your favorite perk about working at XPO?
I joined XPO, and my wife and I had a baby seven months later while I was also going through an executive MBA program! It was extremely challenging, but very rewarding. The key to my success was partnering with the XPO community around me.
What advice do you have for other women who are pursuing careers in historically male-dominated industries or roles?
Go for it! We need you to keep evolving mindsets and I think now is the right time to speak up and reaffirm ourselves.
Why do you think your company is a particularly supportive work environment for members of the LGBTQ+ community?
By communicating regularly and openly on this topic, XPO has created a very inclusive environment for the LGBTQ+ community. For example, last June, XPO showed support for the LGBTQ+ community by sponsoring the 50th Anniversary of the World Pride celebration in New York City. More than 100 employees and our CEO Brad Jacobs joined the parade and rode on the XPO float. It was the first time I felt I could truly be myself at work, and my managers in the U.S. and colleagues in Europe have been very supportive.
What does Pride Month mean to you?
For me, it’s a very important moment where I reflect on past events, LGBTQ+ history and important milestones. Pride is a platform that brings awareness and support to the LGBTQ+ community all over the world. It’s a reminder that there’s still a lot of progress to be made even in the most progressive countries.
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