Trailblazing Women in the Supply Chain

trailblazing women supply chain

Men hold 85% of all executive officer positions within Fortune 500 companies, despite research that consistently shows when women are in positions of leadership, companies perform better. In the supply chain industry, 20% to 30% of positions are held by women, but the dearth of women in the C-suite is astounding; just 5% of top-level supply chain positions within Fortune 500 companies are held by women.

As I have written about previously, the lack of gender diversity in the supply chain is not because women do not have the skillset and ability to succeed within the industry:

“Women are as capable as men when it comes to working within the supply chain industry. Indeed, it has been put forth that women are better suited for roles in supply chain management than men. Research conducted by SCM World found that the majority of men (63%) and women (75%) believe that the natural skillsets of women differ from those of men and that these differences are advantageous for supply chain management.”

Last year I was fortunate enough to interview Cathy Morris, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Arrow Electronics, and Mickey North Rizza, vice president of strategic services at BravoSolution, about women in the supply chain. Morris was twice named one of the “Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology,” and North Rizza was named a “Top Female Supply Chain Executive.”  Both Morris and North Rizza shared how they got started in the industry, and the steps they took to get to where they are today. They also shared their desire to increase diversity in the supply chain.

As a woman working within the supply chain industry, I believe that it is important to discuss the lack of gender diversity and point to research highlighting why the industry needs to increase the number of women in all positions, including the C-suite. Additionally, it is just as important to highlight the incredible women who already are working within the industry.

This year I’m turning my focus to showcase the work that these trailblazing women are doing. I spoke with Kendrea Durr-Smith, director of global trade compliance at Arrow Electronics, Kelli Saunders, President of Morai Logistics, Hailey McKeefry, editor and chief at EBN, and Barbara Jorgensen, co-founder and managing editor, EPS News. I also invited Tania Seary, founder of Procurious, to share what is happening at her company, and Jennifer Cortez, director of marketing and communications at Transplace, to discuss the role of quality content within the industry. These interviews and stories will be shared over the next couple weeks.

As I share the work of even more women in the future, I look forward to continuing a dialogue that will hopefully facilitate welcoming more women to the industry.


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