AWESOME Symposium participants said they see the increasing numbers of young women enrolled in university supply chain management programs – and related degrees – as especially positive. The focus on STEM has encouraged young woman to be more open-minded about career choices. Yet, many expressed concern that supply chain programs are at a disadvantage because career paths in this profession are not as visible or as clearly defined as some other fields are.
They offered the following suggestions for helping young women envision and prepare for supply chain leadership:
- Expose young women to opportunities for meaningful careers in the industry.
Some of the ways this could be accomplished are to have professionals speak at or participate in school programs (college fairs, forums, etc.), include students in industry conferences and other events, and create opportunities for students to “shadow” or observe successful women in supply chain roles.
- Help universities develop course work that is relevant and valued by industry.
Participants expressed the desire to collaborate with educators to make sure women who complete these degrees are fully prepared to meet leadership expectations.
- Use the senior executive network as an aid to recruiting and placement.
Once the network is established, it can be effectively used to identify young women with high potential and help find positions that meet their abilities and are aligned with their career goals.
- Provide internships and scholarships.
The goal of these programs would be to introduce young women at a younger age to the real-life possibilities of various types of supply chain roles and to help them gain actual experience.
- Help young women develop skills identified as being critical to future supply chain leaders.
As with the effort to develop the best curriculum, future leaders should acquire business skills and knowledge along with their technical expertise