Women occupy only 10 per cent of supply chain leadership roles

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
3 January 2014

Just 10 per cent of senior leadership roles in supply chain operations are held by women, according to research.

SCM World carried out a review of Fortune Global 500 firms with physical supply chains to arrive at the figure, and said the “time to break this problem down is now”.

The figure compares to other research that found 24 per cent of leadership roles across all business areas were occupied by women worldwide, with the most commonly held positions being chief finance officer, human resources director and corporate controller.

SCM World also conducted a poll of 150 global supply chain practitioners that showed 96 per cent of women and 74 per cent of men believed that natural skills of women – including emotional intelligence, self awareness, empathy, humility and steadfastness – were “advantageous for supply chain management”.

Kevin O’Marah, chief content officer at SCM World, said: “Women in supply chain are too few, and their path to the top is at least partially blocked. Yet it seems we all believe they bring something to the party that will make it better. The time to break this problem down is now.”

The survey found 52 per cent of men thought women suffered no disadvantage, while the same proportion of women (52 per cent) felt they did.

Meanwhile, 75 per cent of women and 63 per cent of men believed the natural skills of women differed from those of men.

A second poll of 56 universities around the world showed on average 37 per cent of students on supply chain courses were female, three quarters of universities reported an increase in enrolment by women over the past five years, and 71 per cent expected enrolment to increase further over the next five years.

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