If you attended any sort of supply chain management trade show a couple of decades back, one thing was a given: unlike a concert venue or even a restaurant, there were no lines in front of the ladies’ rooms. There was a very large and obvious gap between the number of women and men working in the industry. Thankfully, that trend is slowly changing, and today, more women populate supply chain management jobs than ever before.
An Increase of Women In Supply Chain Management
A recent survey from the Gartner Group revealed that women now make up 41 percent of the total workforce in the industry. At the executive level, the numbers lag, but have reached a level of 26 percent female. These numbers represent growth even from 2022, where women totaled 39 percent of the workforce, the same percentage that they held in 2021. At the senior level, the percent of female-occupied positions grew from 19 percent in 2022. As recently as 2019, that number was only in the single digits.
The survey investigated how companies successfully expanded their female workforce and found that flexibility was one of the chief methods. Women in supply chain marked this as more important to them than benefits and even salary. That said, only 41 percent of the companies involved in the survey reported specific initiatives aimed at providing flexibility, an area worth investigating to recruit more women into the industry. Analysts pegged this as a big mismatch and area of opportunity.
To compile the survey, Gartner partnered with the U.K. based group Awesome (Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management, and Education), which formed in 2013 with the intent purpose of bringing more women into the field of supply chain management. The group now has over 1,500 members, representing a wide spectrum of supply chain industry positions.
The group has put together a wide variety of events, activities and more in its efforts to raise the visibility of females in the industry. Among the initiatives sponsored by Awesome is a scholarship program. Each year, the organization identifies 20 women attending university programs in supply chain management and awards them $5,000 scholarships. Recipients attend a diverse array of programs, from Howard University to the University of Tennessee, Michigan State and Miami University. In addition, Awesome began partnering with MIT’s Center for Transportation and Logistics in 2018 to provide tuition assistance to women wishing to attend the university’s Supply Chain Management master’s degree program.
Awesome events include both live and virtual offerings. They cover a wide array of topics, such as “The Future of Remote Work, Robotics, and AI,” and “The 1-95 Explosion and What We Can Learn from This Disaster,” for instance. Additionally, the organization holds an annual multi-day symposium, as well as regional events, allowing women in the industry to meet for education, networking, and more. If you’re a female working in supply chain management and would like to tap into what the organization has to offer, you can find them here. If you have any questions or warehouse consulting needs, please contact us today!