Is there a "glass ceiling" in procurement?

23 July 2009
Many of you will have seen the news this week about the "glass ceiling" preventing less affluent people reaching "top professions", as doctors, lawyers and civil servants. The report says there are 130 "professional sectors" in the UK. It doesn't list them, but it would be interesting to see if it includes procurement among them. Procurement has always struck me as quite an open profession, where progress and position is based on merit. However, the wide variety of skills necessary to be a success in purchasing (business skills, maths skills, communication skills) surely favours those with a broad education. If anything, routes into procurement are probably becoming increasingly open. Introducing people to the profession from other disciplines, encouraging more young people and developing the buyers that have already "fallen into it". Because of the myriad of ways people have entered the profession (a quick look back at our people page confirms this), purchasing probably hasn't been able to develop a glass ceiling to stop people entering or hold them down. When it does exist, we will finally know procurement has arrived as a "high-status" job.
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