Moving Women to the Top of the Supply Chain

Moving Women to the Top of the Supply Chain

A new study showed that 71% of global supply chain professionals believe women have a different natural skillset than men, and of those, 91% consider these skillsets to be advantageous to working within supply chain management.

Why is the supply chain profession still struggling to attract, retain and recognize female talent, asks Kevin O'Marah, chief content officer at SCM World?

In an article on IndustryWeek, he points out that “increasing the number of women in leadership positions in public companies improves profitability.”

But we need to get women enrolled in supply chain management in order for them to rise in the ranks. His company did a poll of global universities and found that  women accounted for 37% of students enrolled in university supply chain courses.

However these numbers don’t translate to top positions. Looking at Fortune 500 companies, only 5% of the top level supply chain positions are held by women.

The lack of women in these roles isn’t due to perceptions of womens’ abilities, his company found. The study showed that 71% of global supply chain professionals believe women have a different natural skillset than men, and of those, 91% consider these skillsets to be advantageous to working within supply chain management.

So what is the problem?

One issue is that support for women must come from the top. O’Marah cites the example of  Beth Ford, COO,  at Land O’Lakes,  who wrote that “senior leaders have a critical role to play: they must sponsor high potential women, which means actively working to position them effectively; understanding the challenge presented; and being direct in counseling about the importance of mobility and flexibility on their career trajectory.”

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