William J. Taylor Professor of Business
University of Tennessee
Department of Supply Chain Management
What’s the biggest challenge you have faced as a woman in business to date?
Consistent gender bias, discrimination, and stereotyping. Supply chain management is very male dominated and within the field there are still many differences between men and women in terms of salary, awards, promotions, recognition, service assignments, etc. Decisions can be made outside of a typical “work” setting (which is even worse during the time of the pandemic), on the golf course, at a bar, via text/chat groups where women are excluded. But from any challenge comes change and women need to support other women in the fight to create an inclusive and more gender equal world.
Who has inspired you (male or female)?
There have been many people who have inspired me, some in small ways and some very significantly. I have had many friends and mentors along the way and truly believe that women need to be supportive of other women. A public personality that I think is inspirational in her actions is Dolly Parton – she is a kind and an amazing humanitarian.
What do you wish you’d known when you started out and/ or what advice would you give your younger self?
Always execute on what you have committed to – over-deliver versus over-promise. The only person you have to make happy is yourself.
What are the character traits of successful women and/or what do you think makes a good leader?
Truthful, transparent, engaged, excellent communicator, considerate, brave, optimistic, inclusive, fair, motivated, supportive.
Do you have a favourite quote or statement that sums up your approach to life?
Have courage and be kind. For where there is kindness there is goodness, and where there is goodness there is magic. (Cinderella)
What do you #ChooseToChallenge?
Creating a truly inclusive environment for all.
I personally focus on improving diversity and inclusion of women in business and the academy particularly as it relates to supply chain management.
I perform research on diversity and inclusion of suppliers within our supply chains across the world and how that might generate social and sustainable impact!