Women Still Lack Representation Within the Supply Chain Industry

Over the last two years, things have remained flat for women in supply chain leadership positions.

Women Supplychain

Diversity and inclusion have become major topics of discussions when hiring candidates. While the industry is making strides in diversifying itself, the ratio of men to women in the workplace is still uneven, with men continuing to dominate the field.

Gartner's third-annual Women in Supply Chain Survey reveals sustained representation of women in the senior-most ranks of supply chain organizations, with more leaders leading initiatives to attract, retain and advance women in the workplace. 

The survey found that female representation remains low and constant at all other levels of leadership, Modern Materials Handling reports. Over the last two years, things have remained flat for women in supply chain leadership positions. Currently, women only account for, on average, 38 percent of a supply chain organization. Dana Stiffler, Gartner research vice president, tells Modern Materials Handling that as you go through the different levels of leadership the percentage of women represented drops off. 

However, recruiting efforts have increased in the last year. Nearly 60 percent of respondents say that their organization has created initiatives to recruit, develop, retain and/or advance women in the supply chain, compared to 44 percent last year. 

Modern Materials Handling reports that women in executive roles in supply chain has dropped 1 percent to 14 percent in the last year. However, the survey reassures that the seemingly low number is market-beating compared to other functions. 

Modern Materials Handling reports that Gartner added new questions to this year's survey to highlight what it'll take to improve retention and retention outcomes:

  1. In your opinion, what is the most important thing your organization can do to improve recruiting and retention of women in the supply chain organization?
  2. And, what is the most important thing your organization can do to more effectively advance women to top leadership levels in the supply chain organization?

Respondents noted seeing an increase in presence and visibility of senior women leaders as important actions companies should take to impact the ability to better recruit and retain women and advance them to senior positions. The survey found that other actions that could boost recruitment and retention are changing cultural values, leadership orientation and behaviors as well as better visibility of current women leaders and their success stories. 


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