Women have made a strong comeback to the supply chain workforce in 2023, with gains at nearly every level of leadership, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc. The advances were particularly prominent at the C-Suite and executive level, where 26% of those roles (CSCO, SVP, EVP, CPO) are now filled by women, an all-time high and up from 19% in 2022.
“It’s particularly encouraging to see women make gains at the senior executive level, as we know that when a woman holds the top supply chain position this has a positive correlation with more women in leadership and in all roles through that organization,” says Caroline Chumakov, director analyst in the Gartner Supply Chain Practice. “This connection between female leaders and the effect on women in the workforce has positive implications for how supply chain leaders can better design their efforts to improve representation of women in supply chain.”
- The survey showed that women now make up 41% of the supply chain workforce, up from 39% in 2022.
- However, frontline representation continues to lag, with women filling just 31% of these roles.
- Providing flexibility was the most effective initiative in attracting and retaining women to frontline roles, significantly outperforming other areas such as benefits, employee engagement programs and even a focus on pay equity. However, only 41% of supply chain leaders had implemented an initiative dedicated to workplace flexibility at their organizations.
“There remains a mismatch between employers’ fears of chaos and instability as a result of workplace flexibility policies and the realities of what we see in our research and case studies of successful supply chain organizations. What we see in our research is that flexibility is benefiting both the organization and their female employees,” says Chumakov.
Supply & Demand Chain Executive and Food Logistics’ annual Women in Supply Chain award honors these female supply chain leaders and executives whose accomplishments, mentorship and examples continue to set a foundation for women in all levels of a company’s supply chain network. Submissions close July 14.
And register to attend the Women in Supply Chain Forum, the industry’s premier networking and educational forum tailored to men and women in executive-level positions to expand their professional network and enhance their businesses through thought-provoking discussion panels.