Meredith Singletary, senior director of HR with DHL Supply Chain, discusses what needs to be done to increase participation of women in leadership roles in supply chain and logistics.
Singletary was encouraged by the attendance and makeup of the audience attending a “Women Elevating Women” luncheon at Manifest 2022 in Las Vegas. What was especially notable, she says, was the large number of men in the room. “It’s important that we also talk about how men can help to support that effort. A lot of times they don’t feel invited.”
Given that they account for the majority of business leaders in supply chain today, men have a critical role to play as sponsors and mentors of women moving up in the management ranks. “It’s important to ensure that women are invited to the table and can have the conversation,” Singletary says. But it’s equally important that women themselves serve as mentors for others who want to thrive in a business setting.
To make that happen, companies need to spark young women’s interest in supply chain careers at the college level and below. Singletary says DHL Supply Chain has set a target of having 40% of its college recruits and interns being female. (It’s also looking for 30% of its leadership to consist of women by 2025, versus the current level in North America of just over 26%.) In addition, she speaks of volunteering with the Girl Scouts of America to educate troop members about the supply chain involved in getting their popular cookies to market.
Much progress remains to be made, but Singletary is optimistic about the prospects for attracting more women to careers in supply chain. “There’s always work to be done,” she says, “but it appears to be working for us.”
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