AFN Celebrates International Women’s Day #IWD2018

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

AFN is proud to celebrate women on International Women’s Day and every day. We encourage all to take action that drives change for women and to #PressForProgress. Read our executive statements of support and check out pictures from the day.

Owen Schnaper, President

At AFN, we measure success through many different benchmarks, but at the core of every one of those benchmarks is culture. I am honored to be a part of an organization that views diversity and inclusion as paramount to our culture.

International Women’s Day is a great day to refocus our energy into developing an increasingly more diverse team. It’s also an opportunity to remind ourselves of the impact we can all make on advancing equality for women in the workplace.

As a proud father to a young daughter, I hope that she will grow up in a world where women are treated with same respect and given the same opportunities as her male counterparts. And so it is with great pride that I support the #PressForProgress campaign for International Women’s Day.

Owen Schnaper
Brian Nessel

Brian Nessel, Vice President of Operations

It is with great pride that I support and applaud International Women’s Day 2018 and the theme, #PressForProgress. At AFN, we hold this theme to be part of our culture every day. Our team members are constantly pursuing excellence through change, challenge, creativity, and outstanding customer relations.

AFN continues to bring strong, talented women to our team. Roughly 30% of our current management team is comprised of women, and AFN strives for more as we continue to grow. It is our belief that diversity is paramount to our company as gender parity will only continue to make our company stronger and more passionate about serving the industry in a more creative, inventive, and enthusiastic manner.

I am proud that all of us at AFN will pledge to #PressForProgress and will support and encourage gender parity and inclusion in our workplace.

Jillian Lee, Vice President of Human Resources

Confession: Vulnerability does not come easily to me.

As a perfectionist who has fooled herself into believing that all outcomes can be controlled through proactive structure and discipline, opening myself up to risk, and thereby potentially failure – and most certainly change – is enough to send me running for the hills (or it would if we had any in Chicago). As the wise philosopher Jon Bon Jovi once said, “I like progress, but I hate change.” It’s challenging to admit this, but bold moments are not natural for me; I usually only get through them with careful, deliberate planning and humor.

Perhaps this makes me an unlikely champion of International Women’s Day and the 2018 campaign to #PressForProgress. I’d like to think it actually makes me an ideal candidate for this role; pledging my support of and commitment to challenging bias and inequality, forging women’s advancement, celebrating women’s achievement, and championing women’s education are so important that this is boldness from which even I cannot hide. I may joke to ease my own anxiety but never to diminish the seriousness of these issues.

Gender inequality plays out in every aspect of life – professional, health and well-being, socioeconomic, education.

  • 4.8% of the S&P 500 Companies’ CEOs are women.
  • Women are underrepresented at every level in the corporate pipeline – and it compounds the higher up you go (only an average of 21% of incumbents at the SVP level and above are women, compared to 46% in entry level roles).
  • The disparity in the leadership pipeline starts right out of the gate, with 100 women promoted to manager for every 130 men.
  • Of incumbents in “line roles” with operational/P&L responsibility, only 20% of them are women.
  • In 2015, 90% of new CEOs were promoted from line roles and 100% of them were men.
  • Although nearly impossible to find overall statistics, a 2014 report by the Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA studied the trend of excluding women from medical research and clinical trials. As a point of reference, although cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer of women and impacts each gender differently with unique symptoms, only 1/3 of research subjects are female.
  • An average of 22% of governments globally are composed of women, even though we make up 49.6% of the world’s population.
  • On average, women earn 77% of what their male counterparts make for the same work.
  • African American women earn $0.64 and Hispanic women earn $0.56 for every dollar a Caucasian male makes.
  • 30% of women have been the victims of violence through either sexual assault or domestic abuse.
  • There are 781 million illiterate people worldwide – and 2/3 of them are women.
  • An estimated 65 million girls of school age across the globe are not enrolled in any type of educational program.
  • Women in senior management are seven times more likely than men at the same level to do more than half of the housework and provide primary childcare, which equates to an additional 1 to 3 hours per day.

These numbers are staggering, the magnitude of the scope they cover overwhelming. I’ve spent much of my adult life wondering how I could possibly make a difference. I am one small voice in a sea of voices, talking about issues that have traversed many millennia. What impact could I possibly have?

When I was a teenager, my mother gave me the best advice I’ve ever received, and it has become the methodology I apply to every challenge and opportunity I face. When I was feeling paralyzed by the enormity of something, she told me to close my eyes, take a deep breath, and then said, “Tell me the first step you will take in solving this problem.” After the first step, we discussed the second, then the third, then… You get the point. At the end of what essentially became a project plan for tackling that particular problem, I opened my eyes, smiling through incredible relief. “Now,” she gently commanded, “Take the first step.”

Deep breath.

This is the first bold step.

Rob Levy

Rob Levy, Chief Financial Officer & Chief Information Officer

It has been very exciting to see the momentum toward equal rights for women in the workforce in the U.S. Providing women with the necessary tools and opportunities for advancement only make a company more successful, and we strongly endorse that view at AFN. Closing the wage gap and equally compensating women for their hard work and dedication will only cultivate better results.

Career advancement should not be an unfair process for women; the same respect given to men when they express competency is the same respect and acknowledgment that we should provide women within the workforce. We have seen change, but unfortunately, we have a long way to go. Here at AFN, we foster women’s ideas and expertise, creating an environment of creativity and open growth in all aspects of business.

Rachal Snider, Vice President of Customer Supply Chain

In my many years of experience as a woman in the Supply Chain industry, I have often felt marginalized, ignored, or sidelined for a male counterpart. That statement held true until my career at AFN. Gender equality and #PressForProgress isn’t just a concept celebrated one week out of a year, but every single day.

I was lucky to join a team that celebrates the depth that diversity can bring to the table and I’m lifted up every day by my colleagues to help our overall goal of changing lives through supply chain. I welcome all my fellow Women in Logistics to use #PressForProgress as a platform to help change the gender bias that still exists today and show the world what we’re made of!


Brian Winshall

Brian Winshall, Executive Vice President of Business Development

International Women’s Day is a day for us to pay tribute to the amazing women of our time and to highlight the need to continue to fight for gender equality. It is also a time to reflect and reinforce that diversity makes communities better and stronger in so many ways.

At AFN, we view our company as a community. We foster and embrace gender parity which helps this community and its members thrive and succeed.   

It is with honor that AFN will pledge to #PressForProgress and support gender parity in our workplace.

Ryan Daube, Founder/CEO

As the CEO and founder of AFN, I take our company’s commitment to equality personally. We are so fortunate to have so many talented women on our team here at AFN. I am committed to supporting them as they advance in their careers. Like many other business leaders, I often ask myself if I am doing enough to empower the women in our organization to break the bonds of history and achieve their true potential.

International Women’s Day is an important reminder that inequities still exist as a challenge to both men and women to #PressForProgress and to step up and do everything we can to create a better future for all.


Jeff Daube, Vice President of Strategic Business Initiatives

It’s with great pride and enthusiasm that we here at AFN step up to #PressForProgress. March 8th is the date chosen to celebrate, but this topic has to be right at the forefront of the culture of our company every day.

No question, women provide a newer set of insights and expertise in the world of transportation and logistics, and we only benefit when we listen carefully to what they bring to the table every day.

As I look around AFN and recognize how many women contribute so much to our team here at AFN every day, I realize how lucky we are to have them in our midst. It amazes me that this day of recognition has been so long in coming.

Let’s make sure that March 8th is just the beginning of #PressForProgress every day going forward.