Recently, I moderated the Women in Supply Chain breakfast panel at Reuters Supply Chain Conference in Chicago. Following the breakfast, I was flagged down in the hallway by three different women from three different companies, who thanked me for the creation of the Women in Supply Chain award and for bringing up topics near and dear to their hearts. We hugged good-bye (I’m a big-time hugger), exchanged cards and then I said, make sure you get nominated for our Women in Supply Chain award.
In these three different instances by these three different women, they all three responded by saying, I don’t have anyone in mind who would nominate me.
While this statement saddened me to the core, it also empowered me to help empower them. These three women were of different age brackets and work in different segments of the supply chain. And yet for some reason, they all shared the need to rely on someone else to be recognized.
I’m going to tell you what I told them….
YOU are your best advocate. YOU AND ONLY YOU.
To the women in the industry who don’t have a mentor, who may not have someone they trust, who may be shy or afraid to ask, please nominate yourself!
In 2020, 28 men nominated their female counterparts, while just 6 female leaders nominated themselves.
In 2021, 60 men nominated their female counterparts, while 10 female leaders nominated themselves.
In 2022, 75 men nominated their female counterparts, while 12 female leaders nominated themselves.
While I love seeing those numbers continue to increase, especially with regards to men nominating their female counterparts, it’s the self-advocacy that continues to challenge female leaders of today.
I’ve been there. I get it. I’ve worked at jobs where I questioned my self-worth, where employees made me question my own skills and strengths. But we’re all in charge of our own destiny.
I hope the three women I met read this and decide to practice self-advocacy.
I pray that other women who may be feeling or experiencing the same situations have a change of heart and nominate themselves.
I thank the men in the industry for continuing to help honor and celebrate the female leaders in their organization.
We launched the Women in Supply Chain award three years ago, in the midst of COVID-19. I was four months new to the Food Logistics and Supply & Demand Chain Executive brands, but not new to the supply chain space. I knew this award was not only necessary, but was very essential in addressing gender diversity within the logistics industry.
I was struggling with the same challenges every working mom in America was dealing with -- juggling a full-time job and e-learning. (If you were ever on a Zoom or Teams call with me during this time, here’s my apology for you having to listen to me telling my then-kindergartner to stop spinning in his chair during class).
Please, please, please, nominate yourself! And please, please, please support your fellow female leaders and nominate them too.
Can you nominate someone whose won in the past? Absolutely… we love repeat winners.
Can you nominate someone who was recently named a Pros to Know or Rock Stars of the Supply Chain winner? Absolutely… we love all of our winners equally.
Deadline for submissions is July 14, and winners receive a special discount to our upcoming Women in Supply Chain Forum.