April 09, 20142 minute read

Participants in the AWESOME Symposium in May 2013 expressed the view that, while substantial obstacles still confront women who aspire to excel in supply chain leadership roles, women’s influence in the industry is increasing in the following important ways.

Women leaders are stepping up. (In the first nine months after AWESOME was launched, more than 500 women were identified who have leading supply roles at a variety of types of companies.)

Women supply chain leaders are beginning to be seen as potential candidates for C-suite roles. Supply chain expertise is gaining in importance for total enterprise strategy and outcomes.

Women are gaining confidence in their own strengths. Appreciation for skills such as collaboration, communication, and team-building are helping women gain respect among their peers.

Women are becoming more visible in the industry. Women are beginning to take on more prominent, high-profile roles as speakers, discussion leaders or panelists at industry events and are being recognized in industry publications for their achievements.

Women are taking the time to network and get connected. Women are paying greater regard to the value of industry-wide relationships – and AWESOME and other groups are incorporating networking as a main goal.

Current leaders are supporting the effort to bring young women into the field. Connecting with universities to be mentors or to participate in career fairs or class programs is seen as being essential to expanding interest in supply chain management among young women at an early age.

Women are creating or becoming involved in leadership development programs at their own companies.

Women are paying attention to the structure and culture of their organizations and effecting changes that address women’s needs.