Women comprise 41% of the supply chain workforce in 2021, up from 39% in 2020, according to a recent survey by Gartner, Inc. Every leadership level saw an increase in representation, except the executive level where there has been a slight decline. In 2021, women account for 15% of executive level roles, down from 17% in 2020.
"Contrary to other industries, supply chain’s mission-criticality during the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many sectors did not reduce their workforce, but rather continued to hire and even faced talent shortages, especially in the product supply chains," says Dana Stiffler, VP analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice. "This resulted in many women not only standing their ground in supply chain organizations but increasing their representation in organizations. We also recorded a record number of specific commitments and supply chain-led actions and saw existing programs starting to pay off."
- 84% of responding organizations stated that COVID-19 had no discernible impact on their ability to retain and advance women.
- However, 54% of survey respondents said that retaining mid-career women is an increasing challenge.
"Supply chain leaders who are serious about their gender equality efforts must create tailored leadership development programs and explore flexible work policies that cater to the needs of midcareer women," Stiffler says.