MHI Solutions

Human Resources

Women Rising

While the supply chain continues to be predominantly male, more women are joining the industry throughout the material handling, logistics and transportation fields.

By Carol Miller

While the supply chain continues to be predominantly male, more women are joining the industry throughout the material handling, logistics and transportation fields. According to the 2016 Gartner-AWESOME (Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management, and Education) Women in Supply Chain survey, females are slowly gaining ground in the field overall, representing 35 percent of the total supply chain workforce—although significantly less so in the most senior levels at just five percent.

To boost these numbers, the Gartner-AWESOME report’s authors recommend better recruitment efforts specifically designed to expose and attract women to the field and its varied opportunities, and the establishment of leadership development programs that target promoting female talent through a defined career path. Both of these initiatives should be quantified by setting specific goals and tracking hiring progress through scorecards to help companies validate their efforts and measure their progress, the report adds.

Seeing more companies undertake active recruitment, retention and advancement of their female peers would be very welcome, say the four women leaders MHI Solutions features below. In chatting about their varied backgrounds and career paths, each cited the value of giving and receiving mentorship, willingness to take charge of their own professional development and advancement, and the importance of having visible female role models within the industry.

Although none of them grew up envisioning a career or leadership role in the supply chain field, each has found the industry to be both rewarding and fulfilling. Here, a look at the experiences and backgrounds of four very different female supply chain leaders and what they enjoy most about the industry and its challenges.

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According to the recently released 2018 MHI Annual Industry Report, “Overcoming Barriers to NextGen Supply Chain Adoption,” eight out of ten survey respondents believe these supply chains will be the predominant model within just five years. However, the report found that the adoption of some of these technologies was slower than originally reported when MHI started the annual report in 2014. The report cites three top barriers to adoption of these technologies: 1. Making the business case for NextGen supply chain investments. 2. Tackling the supply chain skills gap and workforce shortage. 3. Building trust and security in digital, always-on supply chains. This issue of MHI Solutions focuses on the adoption of these digital solutions, from best practices in robotics and artificial intelligence to blockchain and innovations in last mile delivery.

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