Supply Chain Represents Opportunity to Get More Women in the C-Suite


Women in the C-SuiteThe fact that women are under-represented in the highest positions in corporate America isn’t new. But the numbers continue to improve. A 2013 Forbes Insight study found that the total number of female CEOs globally is up to 14% from 9%. And 24% of senior leadership positions globally are occupied by women, a 3% increase over the previous year. The report indicates the top five positions where women enter senior management include chief finance officer (31%), human resources director (30%), corporate controller (14%), chief marketing officer (13%) and sales director (13%).

So where does supply chain fit in here? According to SCM World research, only 5% of top-level supply chain positions at Fortune 500 companies are filled by women–compared to 15% all executive officer positions at Fortune 500 companies. This statistic is relatively dismal, but with women representing 37% of students enrolled in university supply chain courses, the number of female senior supply chain executives is likely to increase in the future.

A recent Fortune article makes the point that getting more women in supply chain management leadership positions will translate into more women in the C-suite. Because supply chain management touches so many aspects of the business, supply chain executives have visibility into a broad spectrum of company dynamics–putting them in a prime position to ascend to the C-suite.

Elevating women within the ranks of supply chain management leadership requires attention at all levels of an organization. Veterans in the field need to nurture the potential of rising female talents in the industry. Human resources and hiring managers should make a point to look to diversify the gender base at entry-level hiring. With a focused effort, more women will emerge as supply chain leaders, and make their way to the C-suite.

Steelwedge is proud to count some leading women in supply chain management as our customers and partners. Check out their thought leadership in some of our recent webinars:

“GoPro Captures a Single Source of Truth with S&OP Technology” featuring Jennifer Ubamos, Senior Sales Process Manager, GoPro

“Building S&OP Shock Absorbers for your Business” featuring Lisa Aleman, Director, Sales and Operations Planning and Control, Radisys

“A Practitioner’s Guide to Successful S&OP and Demand Management” featuring Seema Phull, Partner, NorthFind Partners

How does your organization hire and promote women to supply chain management leadership positions? Let us know in the comments!