Executive Forum held for women supply chain leaders

May 25, 20142 minute read

AWESOME, the women’s leadership initiative for the logistics and supply chain fields, presented the AWESOME Executive Forum Sunday, October 20, in Denver, in conjunction with the annual global conference of CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals) October 20-23. Ann Drake, chairman and CEO of DSC Logistics, launched AWESOME – Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management, and Education – in January 2013.

The Executive Forum discussions focused on “The Next Leap for Women Leaders: What do women need to know, do and be to excel and advance?” and “Industry Alive! Harnessing the Potential of Collaboration: How do we bring people from different organizations together and leverage opportunities for increased collaboration in Supply Chains?” Leading women executives joined Sandy Evett, former VP, Logistics & Distribution, Heinz North America, to present and facilitate discussions.

The Denver AWESOME plans also included the CSCMP Women at Work Panel and Reception (“21st Century Leadership: The Female Quotient”), the CSCMP Women in Logistics and Supply Chain Management Panel with a presentation by Drake on “Reality Check — What We Now Know,” the CSCMP conference opening session, and receptions hosted by CSCMP, AWESOME and DSC Logistics.

The report “Reality Check — What We Now Know,” which was also published in late October, covers discussions on women’s leadership issues, obstacles and career-building strategies. Topics include what skills and qualities supply chain leaders will need in the future, what obstacles and issues women encounter that slow down or sideline their careers, and what needs to happen for the industry to tap in to the full leadership potential of women. The report summarizes the insights and observations of senior supply chain executives who participated in a May symposium hosted by Drake.

“What we learned at the Symposium is that our industry is as much as two decades behind fields such as financial services, law and management consulting in recognizing the value of diversity'” Drake said.

The Symposium brought together leading women in the field, representing a variety of roles – from SVPs of Logistics for Fortune 100 manufacturers to executives who lead supply chain practices for consulting companies to senior procurement officers to officials in government agencies overseeing transportation to professors of university-level programs educating future supply chain professionals.

“The field of supply chain management has changed dramatically over the past decade and a half,” explained Drake. “Yet, what hasn’t changed as significantly is the profession opening up to utilize the talents and skills of more women as leaders.”