In honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we wanted to celebrate the many women who make Gentle Giant an industry leading company. The following post was written by Liz Martin, our HR Generalist, about her experience working at Gentle Giant.
I came to Gentle Giant as a former high school and collegiate rower in search of a summer job to keep me fit, active and tan. I expected to be physically challenged by dusty attics, awkward sleeper sofas and long hours. What I didn’t expect was a company that would welcome a woman into a man’s world with such support and enthusiasm. In a historically male-dominated industry, Gentle Giant breaks that mold.
As anyone who has moved before knows, packing up your home and watching strangers drive away with your belongings can be stressful. I witnessed it every day on the faces of customers who were uprooting their lives to start a new job, relocate to a new school district or accommodate a growing family. Moving is personal and intimate experience, and it can often be a painful process. Gentle Giant understands the powerful emotions of a life change and strives to provide the best service to conquer even the most stressful of days.
During my time on the trucks, I realized what continually sets Gentle Giant apart from other moving companies is the quality and the diversity of the people whom we employ. I worked with employees from all backgrounds, who encouraged me to work harder and think bigger – or heavier, as the case may be. Whether it was carrying a dryer through a bulkhead or a towering armoire across newly refinished floors in bare feet, I was challenged and tested alongside everyone else.
In an ongoing effort to fight moving industry standards, Gentle Giant has established a Women’s Professional Development Network that encourages advocacy, support and education to foster professional growth. From movers to managers, operations to accounting, and everything in between, Gentle Giant develops women to participate and grow in all aspects of business. Our female movers have gone on to use the lessons learned on the trucks to do great things. From starting their own businesses, to winning silver in the rowing world championships and attending graduate school in a variety of subjects, we are proud of every woman to pass through our doors.
My experience was so positive that I have since transitioned into the office to help recruit the next generation of Giants, both male and female. Through partnerships with various local rowing and rugby teams, Gentle Giant actively recruits women who are not only physically capable of doing the job, but showcase the personal attributes of a true Giant. Unlike many other moving companies, we see the value of a diverse workforce that can provide a tailored, personal service in the midst of a big life change. Whether it is with a shared lunch on moving day or a reassuring handshake, we pride ourselves on a workforce that is not only athletic and articulate, but empathetic and understanding.
As a mover with previous professional experience, I was able to see the personal development and growth afforded to me as a woman in this unique work environment. Hard work, persistence and attention to detail under pressure are the key ingredients of becoming a successful Giant.
The women who suit up in our maroon t-shirts and climb into our big green truck cabs are strong, independent and assertive individuals who come to work every day ready to tackle any challenge. Sometimes they are physically smaller than some of our male Giants, but they are just as mighty.