Women have been climbing the leadership ranks of supply chain for several years, but more work needs to be done. In a survey released this summer by Gartner, women now make up 41% of the total supply chain workforce. At the frontline level, though, women make up only 31% of senior manager positions and 34% of managers/supervisors, up just one percentage point year-over-year in each category.
Significant gains were made in the C-Suite (CSCO, SVP, EVP, CPO), where 26% of roles are now filled by women, up from 19% in 2022. The 26% is an all-time high in the 8th Annual Women in Supply Chain Survey, and up significantly from 2019 when the number was in the single digits.
“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,” said Caroline Chumakov, director analyst in the Gartner Supply Chain Practice.
At SAP, elevating women into leadership roles is a primary mission, and it is headed up by Darcy MacClaren, chief revenue officer of SAP Digital Supply Chain. In an interview with Supply Chain Management Review at the CSCMP Edge 2023 conference in Orlando, MacClaren explained the goals behind SAP’s Empowering Women in Supply Chain group.
“We clearly have a diversity issue with women, both in the U.S. and globally,” she said. “We are missing out on a [great workforce].”
As a leader in SAP’s supply chain business, MacClaren was feeling the impact that lack of diversity was having, but it was when she spoke with other supply chain leaders that she realized “they all had the same issues.”
Identifying the root cause