Trailblazer Debbie Irwin’s Rise in a Male-Dominated Logistics Industry

With over 40 years of experience in logistics, Debbie Irwin climbed the ladder from data entry clerk to Vice President of Operations by demonstrating dedication and focus. However, her journey wasn’t easy. Working in a male-dominated industry, she overcame skepticism from outsiders who didn’t believe a young woman could have the skills necessary to get the job done.

Despite initial doubts, Irwin surrounded herself with people who knew the business well. She persevered through many initial challenges and earned the respect of her male colleagues by having high standards, delivering exceptional results, and believing in herself. Irwin did not consider her assertive style an impediment, saying anyone entering the logistics industry, particularly women, should pursue all the knowledge they can get and learn from those who have been in the industry for a long time. 

Working many years in the field, Irwin has witnessed how women significantly contributed to logistics by offering a holistic and collaborative perspective. “Women tend to have excellent problem solving skills and are adept at finding creative solutions to complex logistical challenges,” she says. “They can see the big picture and work more effectively with different departments and stakeholders, making them valuable assets to the industry.”

Irwin has seen the number of women in logistics grow significantly since her early years, and the role of automation skyrocket. With automation, the industry accesses vast amounts of data to innovate like never before. At Romark, efficient operations allow for maximum efficiency, and Irwin thanks the Lebovitz family for providing her with the opportunities to advance at the company.

Of the changes Irwin has seen through the years, she is convinced women can get into any field they desire, including logistics. “You see women that have been in the field as long as I have, and they persevered,” Irwin says. “I think logistics is more accepting of women now than ever.”

Her strong work ethic and integrity were instrumental to her rise and trailblazer status. Her deep commitment and willingness to go the extra mile earned her the respect and trust of her male peers. Her unwavering integrity and ethics helped her build strong relationships with her clients and colleagues, leading to more opportunities and a successful career in the logistics field.

“I built my career on a foundation of passion, persistence, self-discipline, and a commitment to learn from the best. It wasn’t always easy, but I never gave up. I learned a lot from the mistakes I made along the way. If you’re interested in a career in the Logistics Industry, be ready, it’s hard work but it’s also very rewarding.”