Eleven Ways to Diversify the Supply Chain: Insights from the Field

PrintAlthough more than 11 million people work in the supply chain—representing 8.6 percent of the nation’s workforce— a shortage of skilled workers persists. An estimated 600,000 manufacturing positions in the United States are unfilled for a lack of qualified workers. Further, the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics predicts that by 2018 there will be 1.4 million new jobs in the field.

As companies have struggled to find talent among their traditional workforce pool, they’ve begun to look elsewhere.

“Supply chain, by the nature of the business, has largely been a male-dominated industry, but we’re seeing that change quickly,” notes Meg O’Connell, president of Global Disability Inclusion, a boutique consulting firm that designs and implements comprehensive disability inclusion strategies for Fortune 500 companies and U.S. federal contractors. “When your established talent pool isn’t yielding the numbers, diversity and talent, you start looking outside of those traditional recruiting channels.”

Yet attracting a more diverse population to manufacturing, warehousing, logistics and other supply chain jobs has been a challenge for many. We asked several supply chain experts to share their insights into how to attract more women, minorities and underserved populations to our industry. Here are 11 suggestions for turning your diversity hiring goals into actionable results.

By Devon Birch

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