Canadian Shipper


Let’s get rid of the stigma

 Supply chain should not be perceived as a male-dominated profession

As those of you who read this column regularly have come to know, I like numbers. Why? Because they point to the truth and serve as a call to action.

One of the areas where “the numbers” should be acting as a call to immediate action is the under-representation of women in supply chain at all levels. Considering that by 2017 there will be approximately 360,000 supply chain job vacancies nationally, according to the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council, can we afford to miss attracting nearly half of the continent’s source of human capital,leadership and ingenuity? A large proportion of supply chain jobs are found in manufacturing. Yet a Deloitte study of US manufacturing conducted a couple of years ago found that manufacturers struggle to attract female candidates. The Deloitte study, which included a survey of more than 600 women in manufacturing, found that only 1 in 5 thought manufacturing was doing a good job of representing itself to women.

For too long supply chain has suffered the stigma of being perceived as male-centric. More than half the women surveyed in the Deloitte study attributed the lack of interest among females to work in manufacturing to a perception of male bias-a perceived bias that starts at the very top where, as Corrie Banks, president, Triskele Logistics Ltd, points out: “Common thought has long since been leadership equals male.” In fact, the key attributes to success in a supply chain management position are no different for men than women: professionalism, work ethic, education.

Another hurdle is retaining women in supply chain, particularly when considering perceptions surrounding current pay practices. Two years ago our Annual Survey of the Canadian Supply Chain Professional found that fifty-five percent of the female supply chain professionals responding to our survey did not believe they were receiving equal pay compared to their male counterparts for equal work in their organizations. Perhaps even more alarming was that 79% of male respondents to our survey believed that their female counterparts were receiving equal pay for equal work.

Research shows that organizations with diverse leadership are more profitable. A study by Catalyst, a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding opportunities for women and business, found that Fortune 500 companies with high percentages of women officers had a 35% higher return on equity and a 34% higher total return than companies with fewer women executives. It’s time for supply chain to rid itself of the stigma of a male-dominance. For those interested, Cargo Logistics Canada  Expo & Conference (Vancouver Convention Centre January 28-29, 2015) will feature a session addressing the pivotal role females play in answering to industry stereotypes and labour shortages in Canada.

Julia Kuzeljevich promoted to editor

Speaking of women  in supply chain, it is with great pleasure that I announce the promotion of associate editor Julia Kuzeljevich to the position of editor. In this new role, Julia will have full responsibility for the day to day editorial direction of Canadian Shipper and will also be increasingly involved in its long-term strategic positioning.

Over the past year Julia has been instrumental in the rebranding of this publication, working closely with art director Ellie Robinson and our seasoned team of writers to provide a fresh new look and feel to Canadian Shipper. Publisher Nick Krukowski and I feel this is the best this publication has ever looked and read and Julia’s leadership had a great deal to do with that.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Julia on this publication and within the Transportation Media team for over 15 years now. In this time I’ve watched her grow into an award-winning writer and meticulous researcher, and take on more of a role speaking on industry issues. I look forward to continuing to work with her as she brings her talents and develops new ones in this leadership position

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