Women breaking stereotypes in supply chain sectors

January 06, 2015
Jan. 6, 2015, Vancouver - Female executives address the urgent need for a shift in perception of the supply chain industry as being a man’s world to one that welcomes and values female talent. The underrepresentation of women and growing labour shortages in Canadian industries like manufacturing, supply chain, transportation and logistics, are key indicators for employers to implement a strategic approach that encourages more skilled females to enter the sectors’ workforce.

According to Deloitte’s 2013 study on females as untapped resources in the manufacturing industry, 51 per cent of women attributed the narrow female margin to the perception of male bias. The stigmatization of the industry as male-centric and warranting hard technical skills is fundamental in the determent of highly valuable female interest and talent.
“Common thought has long since been leadership equals male, but a shift now, more than ever, is needed in thinking that leader can also equal female,” said Corrie Banks, President, Triskele Logistics Ltd. “Women should consider careers in the supply chain, manufacturing, and transportation sectors as they would in healthcare and education.  The opportunity to advance your career and create a meaningful impact is significant for female leadership in the supply chain sector,” she said. In fact, 75 per cent of women in the field agreed to a career in manufacturing as interesting and rewarding, according to Deloitte’s study.
“The key attributes needed to be successful in this industry are fundamentally no different for men than for women; hard work, high level of professionalism, and education and/or strategic work experience” said Kleo Landucci, Vice President of Projects & Development at Ashcroft Terminal. “Certainly the opportunities are there, and women can bring perspectives that add terrific value to more male dominated environments. Being involved in this industry is exciting, ever changing and ripe for innovative ideas,” said Landucci.
By 2017 there will be approximately 360,000 supply chain job vacancies nationally, according to the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council. The enormous demand can be attributed primarily to the low awareness and understanding of the sector paired with its aging workforce. This issue stresses the necessity of employers to consider developing strategies to attract, retain, and cultivate female talent that are crucial to business growth.
In order to meet this need, the Van Horne Institute began the Women in Supply Chain (WISC) initiative, which seeks to promote Supply Chain Management as a profession of choice.  WISC encourages employers to consider how they attract, develop, and retain their female talent, while promoting lifelong learning at all levels of Supply Chain Management educational programs. Learn more about the WISC Initiative with thisinfographic.
The stereotypes can be further broken through when employers refuse to perpetrate the cycle of underrepresentation by hiring and promoting more women, who will then attract other skilled females to the workforce.
“The Van Horne Institute is pleased to be partnering with the Cargo Logistics Canada (CLC) Expo & Conference to highlight and celebrate the incredible work that women have accomplished in this field,” said Peter Wallis, President and CEO of the Van Horne Institute.
Cargo Logistics Canada (CLC) Expo & Conference will feature a session including Corrie Banks and Kleo Landucci to address the pivotal role females play in answering to industry stereotypes and labour shortages in Canada. CLC takes place for its second year at the Vancouver Convention Centre January 28-29, 2015.

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