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I have often cited Barra as an example of supply chain executives reaching the CEO slot, since her prior position included heading global product development, purchasing and supply chain. Like Tim Cook at Apple or Mark Sutton at International Paper, Barra proves that supply chain careers can lead to the very top.
The appointment of Suryadevara last month, however, shows that Barra also demonstrates something about the ways women manage supply chain. Maybe they are just better at it than men.
Back in 2013, SCM World ran a simple survey of supply chain professionals asking about the relevance of gender at work. The results showed decisive agreement with the proposition that men and women do have fundamentally different skill sets, but also importantly, that women’s different skill sets are advantageous for supply chain management. In other words, supply chain needs more of what women bring to the equation.
Five years’ worth of diversity and inclusion conference sessions plus an ongoing effort to understand the dynamics of gender balance in supply chain flag a few important points as to why women might simply be better at supply chain management than are men.
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