More Women in Supply Chain Leadership Roles

More Women in Supply Chain Leadership Roles

June 3, 2022
Global organizations are more likely to have women in a director position than medium or large organizations.

Women are moving up the ladder within supply chain management organizations. In 2022, 19% of C-level positions are held by women, compared to 15% in 2021, according to a recent survey by Gartner and Awesome. 

At the vice president level that trend is reversed with 21% holding those titles in 2022, compared to 23%. 

Looking at the entire supply chain workforce, women comprise 39% compared to 41% in 2021. 

“Chief supply chain officers (CSCOs) remain committed to gender diversity, but this survey suggests that they will need to double-down on goal setting, leadership inclusion and career-pathing for women,” said Caroline Chumakov, senior principal analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice, in a statement. “Compared to the last year, representation of women in supply chain has improved at the first-line manager/supervisor, senior manager and director levels of the supply chain organization, as well as at the senior-most level: the C-suite.”

Global Organizations Lead the Way

Nearly 50% of medium and large organizations ($100 million to $5 billion) have no objectives to increase the number of women leaders in their supply chain. However, 83% of the largest, global organizations ($5 billion+) have a stated objective to improve representation of women in leadership and 38% have incorporated formal targets that appear on management scorecards.

“Global organizations have better pipelines and better representation of women underrepresented races and ethnicities,” said Chumakov. “They are also significantly more likely to have these women in a director position than medium or large organizations.”

The Great Resignation of Midcareer Women

The report notes that supply chain leaders who have seen improvements in gender-balanced representation in their organization should not become complacent in their efforts. Forty-three percent of supply chain leaders say the pandemic has had a net negative impact in the retention and progression of women in supply chain organizations over the past year. This is a significant uptick compared to the 2021 survey, where only 11% said there was a negative impact. Over half of end-user organizations state retaining midcareer women is an increasing challenge, with an additional 19% indicating it is a significant challenge.

According to end-user respondents, the top reason that midcareer women are leaving is because they lack career or advancement opportunities - an increase from last year’s responses. The fastest-climbing response is that women are seeking greater or more competitive compensation, coming in at second place with 43% of responses, up from 24% of responses in 2021.

Financial implications remain largely unaddressed by supply chain organizations. Only half have a targeted initiative focused on improving benefit offerings for women or closing the pay gap. Among those end-user organizations who say it is an objective, 27% report that they have a specific plan to close the gender pay gap.

“While 14% of end-user organizations stated they’ve already achieved pay equity, it is concerning that 59% of respondents have no action plan to close the gap. In today’s hypercompetitive labor market where women are increasingly seeking out pay increases and ethical employers, these data points reveal a hidden attraction and retention risk,” Chumakov concluded.>

Latest from Labor Management

#171785560 © Mark Gomez | Dreamstime
DOL Announces New Actions  to ProtectH-2B Workers
# 170547495 © VectorMine| Dreamstime
Labor Skills Needed for the Future