“Until I attended the AWESOME Symposium in 2014, I’d never had the chance to network with a large group of supply chain women.”

April 20, 20182 minute read

Heather Sheehan, Executive Director of AWESOME since January 2018, reflecting on her first connection with AWESOME when she was VP for Danaher Corporation, in a recent Q&A for “Wednesdays for Women,” a blog posted by JDA Software.

Heather’s first connection with AWESOME came when she attended the 2014 Symposium as a recipient of AWESOME’s first AWESOME Legendary Leadership Award for her supply chain accomplishments. She later became an AWESOME Advisor and then joined the organization as Director of Membership Engagement and Sponsorships.

In the JDA interview, when asked how companies can “grow” women leaders, Heather answered, “Supply chain leadership requires a mix of capabilities that spans from the highly analytical and technical to the interpersonal and relationship skills. You cannot be successful without the whole range. There are so many women who have this great range of skills, but they don’t recognize themselves as leadership material. Companies can grow these leaders by identifying the women who have the range of strong skills, by helping them secure mentors and sponsors, and by telling them they are potential leaders.”

She quotes a study of female CEOs conducted by the Korn Ferry Institute that found 65 percent of female CEOs first realized they could become a CEO only when someone else told them. Heather added, “Hearing it from a trusted source is a powerful motivator and confidence-builder, and then if a company provides a roadmap of the experiences and development needed and guidance along the way, women will grow into leadership roles more quickly.”

Read the entire interview