By Katie Date, manager, SCALE network outreach at the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics · Full article published at SCMR on July 7, 2019
Katie Date is the manager of corporate and SCALE network outreach at the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics. She leads the MIT CTL Women in Supply Chain Initiative, which is exploring ways to address gender challenges in supply chain management through education and outreach initiatives targeted at mid-career supply chain professionals. She can be contacted at Datecl@mit.edu.
Efforts to encourage more women to become supply chain practitioners and correct the gender imbalance that has long plagued the profession are starting to bear fruit. However, there is one area where progress is lacking: The leadership level. Research indicates that gender-balanced enterprises tend to be more productive and innovative.
Also, female supply chain leaders provide role models who can inspire women to enter the profession and climb the career ladder. How can the supply chain management function entice more women to join its leadership ranks? This was one of the questions discussed at the Women in Supply Chain Summit: Achieving Balance in SCM this past March in Boston.
The event was organized by the MIT CTL Women in Supply Chain Initiative and hosted by lifestyle footwear and apparel brand Converse. The female practitioners who participated in the event provided some innovative approaches to changing the complexion of supply chain’s upper echelon.
Progress—but not at the top
The 2019 AWESOME/Gartner Women in Supply Chain survey* summary reports a modest improvement in gender diversity in supply chain management. Women currently make up 39% of the supply chain workforce on average, according to the survey results. Gartner surveyed 165 supply chain professionals and their companies’ goals to improve gender diversity.