BY, MHI EXECUTIVE VP OF MEMBERSHIP AND INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP
The recently released Supply Chain Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Survey from Gartner noted that supply chain organizations in publicly held companies employ more people of color than their privately held counterparts. Specifically, people of color comprise 35% of the overall supply chain workforce at publicly held companies, with 13% at the vice president level. Meanwhile, people of color represent 30% of privately held companies’ supply chain workforce, with just 7% at the vice president level.
Regardless of which side of the shareholder divide a company falls on, however, more work is clearly needed to build stronger pipelines to recruit and attract more racial, cultural, ethnic and LGBTQIA diversity to our field. In recognition of this, MHI’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Advisory Committee launched a new College to Career Conversation Series of webinars. This initiative is focused on raising awareness among the workforce of the future about the broad range of career opportunities within supply chain and material handling, shared directly from those already working in the industry.
Featuring representatives from MHI member companies, each webinar targets current students at colleges and universities, as well as those in middle and high school. Outreach and promotion of the series is also focused on on-campus societies—such as the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (OSTEM), and others—and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
“Historically, these groups have been underrepresented in supply chain and material handling,” noted Dominic Mottillo, talent acquisition manager at St. Onge Company, a member of MHI. “Although they know what the industry is, they’re perhaps less aware of the breadth of opportunities in the field. That’s why the DEI Advisory Committee is working particularly hard to connect with students in those groups.”
Mottillo, who is St. Onge’s first dedicated, in-house recruiter, has seen a seismic shift in the industry’s commitment to recruiting diversity over the past five years.
“The progress has been outstanding. Companies are prioritizing technological developments as our field comes up with new, creative and interesting ways to solve problems,” he said. “They realize that diversity breeds innovation. If an organization wants to develop the best solutions for its customers, it needs people who think differently and bring distinct experiences, viewpoints and perspectives.”