Are Women the Solution to Supply Chain Labor Shortage?

Jan. 26, 2015
By 2017 there will be approximately 360,000 supply chain job vacancies nationally, according to the Canadian Supply Sector Council. 

In the next two years Canada will be facing a huge labor shortage in the supply chain sector.

By 2017 there will be approximately 360,000 supply chain job vacancies nationally, according to the Canadian Supply Sector Council.

The reason for the shortage can be attributed to the low awareness and understanding of the sector paired with its aging workforce. The issue of low awareness of the field is particularly true when it comes to women who are underrepresentation in industries such as manufacturing, supply chain, transportation and logistics.

According to a study by Deloitte in 2013 on women as untapped resources in the manufacturing industry, 51% of women attributed the narrow female margin to the perception of male bias. The stigmatization of the industry as male-centric and warranting hard technical skills is fundamental in the determent of highly valuable female interest and talent.

"Common thought has long since been leadership equals male, but a shift now, more than ever, is needed in thinking that leader can also equal female,” said Corrie Banks, President, Triskele Logistics Ltd.

"Women should consider careers in the supply chain, manufacturing, and transportation sectors as they would in healthcare and education.  The opportunity to advance your career and create a meaningful impact is significant for female leadership in the supply chain sector,” she said. In fact, 75% of women in the field agreed to a career in manufacturing as interesting and rewarding, according to Deloitte’s study.

"The key attributes needed to be successful in this industry are fundamentally no different for men than for women; hard work, high level of professionalism, and education and/or strategic work experience” said Kleo Landucci, Vice President of Projects & Development at Ashcroft Terminal. “Certainly the opportunities are there, and women can bring perspectives that add terrific value to more male dominated environments. Being involved in this industry is exciting, ever changing and ripe for innovative ideas,” said Landucci.

In order to meet this need, the Van Horne Institute began the Women in Supply Chain (WISC) initiative, which seeks to promote Supply Chain Management as a profession of choice.  WISC encourages employers to consider how they attract, develop, and retain their female talent, while promoting lifelong learning at all levels of Supply Chain Management educational programs.

The Institute will partner with the Cargo Logistics Canada (CLC) Expo & Conference to “highlight and celebrate the incredible work that women have accomplished in this field,” said Peter Wallis, CEO of the Van Horne Institute.

Cargo Logistics Canada (CLC) Expo & Conference will feature a session including Corrie Banks and Kleo Landucci to address the pivotal role females play in answering to industry stereotypes and labour shortages in Canada. CLC takes place for its second year at the Vancouver Convention Centre January 28-29, 2015. 

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