Although it’s been a week since the Women in Supply Chain Forum, the optimism, emotion and community-like feelings still resonate throughout the industry.
LinkedIn and Twitter feeds are still filled with posts and pictures from attendees talking about what they learned, who they met and what they wore.
Men and women alike are still re-posting, re-sharing, commenting, liking and more.
People still reach out to me with words of praise, and folks not even in attendance have connected with us just to be included in next year’s Forum.
It was more than what I expected when announcing the existence of the Women in Supply Chain Forum.
I mean, if I could chat with my 25-year-old self and say, one day, you will help create an event where you will not be the only female in the room, I wonder how my 25-year-old self would respond.
When the Women in Supply Chain Forum kicked off that Tuesday evening, I quickly learned that that together, we can all be a part of the beginning of a really great thing.
I know many of those in attendance walked away with an expanded knowledge base, but here’s a bit of what I learned from this year’s Women in Supply Chain Forum:
1. Long live the days of cat fights.
Now, I’m not saying that some women still are catty, malicious, vindictive or jealous. But what I am saying is that a majority of women are NOT that. At least the women in supply chain are not. These women are supportive, loving, kind, generous, truly wanting to help each other. I saw women commenting on each others’ dresses, shoes and purses. I saw women hugging and fangirling (I mean, how can you not fangirl over Sarah Barnes-Humphrey!) I saw a room of women uplifting each other, and man, did it feel good!
2. Men are equally important to the equation.
Kudos to the men in attendance. When I asked them what intrigued them to attend, they responded by saying they wanted to learn more about how to better support their female bosses and counterparts. Guess what, we want to learn from you too. Our own brand director, Jason DeSarle, was in attendance, and by the end of the forum, was the show’s self-described door holder, security guard and purse watcher.
3. Knowledge is power.
When you surround yourself with like-minded individuals whose goals, ambitions and dreams are similar to yours, it’s amazing what we can do as human beings. Just being in the same room and sharing a stage with our rock star panelists was a dream come true. These women are so smart, so driven, so kind, and with knowledge comes the ability to do anything.
4. We’re not done yet.
While this Forum proved that women in the supply chain needed a safe space to share ideas, offer suggestions and not be judged, we’re not done yet. We’re not close. There’s still more work to be done. But… it’s a start… and a really great one at that. And together… we can make this work.
5. Great partners make great teamwork.
When you have great partners by your side, anything is possible.
I share the Women in Supply Chain Forum with our brand director, Jason DeSarle. This show is just as much as his as it is mine. Together, we co-parented this Forum from inception to execution, and valued each others’ opinions and suggestions along the way.
But, I also share this Forum with my team, including on my editorial staff, on my sales staff, our marketing team, and yes, even my CEO. I couldn't be more proud of all of us, myself and the women we support.
Cheers to the Women in Supply Chain and the men that showed up to support them. Cheers to Next Year! Stay tuned for more information!