That’s right, just like men, senior women in procurement are looking to network and swap ideas with peers but don’t desire to keep in mind the football fixtures to do it.
While some bonding exercises at the office still divide the sexes rather than bring teams together (I’m particularly thinking of the time a few years ago when I attended an event at which everyone was given tickets to a strip club), the Blueprint Club was set up by a group of senior female buyers, but also invites men to take part.
On Tuesday evening, I stood on the balcony of recruitment firm Odgers Berndtson
’s offices in the capital and while the female CPOs around me sipped wine I thought these women they know the struggles involved in striving for the top. I wondered what advice the Blueprint event’s guest speaker Virginia Bottomley, a former health minister, would give them about breaking the glass ceiling
Thankfully things have changed since Baroness Bottomley started out as an MP – a time she told us, when men would stand up whenever she entered or left a room, a gesture she found oppressive rather than gallant.
After her speech, the women present told me one of the things that helped them get ahead included a division of labour between partners. One woman told me her partner loved doing the cooking while she cleaned and they alternated who took time off work when one of the children got sick.
Founded by four procurement women, including CIPS past presidents Shirley Cooper and Jane Gibbs, the Blueprint Club is also open for men to join – and not all of the events are aimed at women. The next event is on 7 July and is a chance to go up London’s Shard skyscraper before it’s fully constructed and learn about the procurement process for it. So gents do come along to the next Blueprint Club event... if you think you’re man enough.
You can sign up via the Linked in group called Blueprint Club