AWESOME/Gartner Research

AWESOME and Gartner study women’s supply chain leadership

The 2019 Women in Supply Chain Survey will launch in late January, and key findings will be presented at the 2019 AWESOME Symposium – May 1-3 in Seattle. Supply chain leaders in companies with over $100 million in revenue will be surveyed. If you receive a request, please complete and return the survey promptly – and no later than February 22 – so your input will be included.

About the Research

AWESOME and Gartner, the world’s leading research and advisory company, are collaborating on research that sheds light on and tracks progress toward the advancement of women’s supply chain leadership. Women continue to be underrepresented at senior levels, even though companies are competing for the best supply talent, and utilizing women’s talents is increasingly a source of competitive advantage.

In 2016, AWESOME and Gartner set out to establish a baseline, and in 2017 and 2018, tracked women’s progress in the field and assessed goals and strategies being applied by companies to improve opportunities for women.

The 2019 study will monitor progress as companies continue to work to advance women’s leadership and will also give insights about the initiatives found to be most effective.

2018 Study

Key 2018 Findings include:

    • Representation of women in the senior-most ranks —CSCO, SVP, EVP, or CPO reporting to the CEO — is strong and sustained year over year relative to other functions, but remains low and flat at all other levels of leadership.
    • Compared with 2017, more respondents report supply-chain-led formal goals and initiatives to improve gender diversity.
    • Increasing the visibility of successful women leaders as role models is one of the most important things companies can do to impact recruitment and retention, as well as advancement of women to senior levels.

The complete report of the 2018 Women in Supply Chain Survey is now available for download.

2017 Study

The second AWESOME/Gartner survey was launched in February 2017 to assess progress made in the past year and also identify barriers or enablers contributing to that progress. Participants in the study were supply chain leaders in manufacturing, retail, or other companies managing complex supply chains.

Results of this survey were reported by Dana Stiffler, Research VP, Gartner, at the 2017 AWESOME Symposium, May 3-5 in Chicago.

Key findings include:

    • Among different kinds of companies, consumer goods continues to lead in its progression of women leaders, while the industrial sector has edged up slightly.
    • Organizations are embracing recruiting and broader pipeline planning – practices that lead to more substantive results than employee workgroups and leadership training.
    • Executive focus and action, recruiting policy changes, and high visibility of senior female leaders are the primary reasons companies make progress.

Download pdf of report

2016 Study

The first AWESOME/Gartner survey was conducted in 2016 to determine the representation of women leaders in those leadership roles. The research also set out to highlight specific activities companies are engaged in to better attract, develop, retain and advance women in supply chain organizations.

According to Dr. Nancy Nix, AWESOME Executive Director, “One of the most surprising findings is that although there is a general perception that women are gaining higher levels of leadership in supply chain, the survey found that actual progress is much slower than that perception would suggest.”

“This study gives a foundation to work from so we can measure actual progress going forward,” she added.

Results were released at the AWESOME Symposium in May 2016 and the report can be downloaded here. The research also was described in an article in Supply Chain Management Review written by Dr. Nancy Nix, AWESOME Executive Director, and Dana Stiffler, Research Vice President at Gartner Research.


Download report pdf

Download article pdf

As a follow-up, one-on-one interviews were conducted with some of the original respondents to further explore their experiences and their insights into effective company strategies to advance women.

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