Better Together: Learning from Women in Supply Chain

4 min read
December 1, 2023

What happens when you put women supply chain leaders in a room together? Profound possibilities! 

A few weeks ago, I had the distinct pleasure of attending the Women in Supply Chain Forum hosted by Food Logistics and Supply & Demand Chain Executive in Atlanta, GA. 

This was my first year attending and I was excited to hear from supply chain thought leaders and the opportunity to network with many women that I connected with through social media. I was also joined by two Osa Commerce Women In Logistics winners, Yifat Baror co-founder and Chief Growth Officer and Wendy Wolff, Director of Operations. These ladies were honored alongside the 341 women named winners.

Award Winners; Yifat Baror, Wendy Wolff, Chelsea Mori


About Women in Supply Chain Forum

This year’s event was the second annual Women In Supply Chain Forum. In just two short years, nominations for the Women In Supply Chain (WISC) award grew by an astronomical 287% with 426 nominations this year. Additionally, there was a 46% increase in applications from men nominating the women they work for, with, or know from the industry. Lastly, there were 39 self nominations highlighting how many women are ready to share their outstanding accomplishments. All of these efforts should be celebrated and highlighted! 

Moderated by Marina Mayer, Editor-in-Chief at Food Logistics and Supply & Demand Chain Executive, the theme for this year’s forum was “Better Together: How Collaboration Promotes Women in Supply Chain.”  

This event showcased great speakers, panel topics, and brought people together to speak directly about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and how it impacts us personally, professionally, and the companies we work for.

Here are a few of my takeaways from this year’s Forum.

Build a Tribe

This year’s keynote was Katie Date, SVP, Industry Relations & Strategic Initiatives for Manifest and founder of the MIT CTL Women in Supply Chain Initiative. She spoke about the importance of mentorship, authenticity, and building your tribe.

Her words resonated with me as I thought of my own journey. I’ve had many mentors over my career and have had the pleasure to mentor others. But how did I build my tribe? 

Like many women in supply chain or technology, it can be hard to find a like minded person to support you, offer new insights, and ultimately be there when you’re told that “you’re too much.” It takes time and effort to build your tribe. But it all starts with understanding what you want to stand for and building a group of people who respect you and want to see you succeed.

Here are a few tricks to get the ball rolling:

  • Find your mentor(s) and meet with them often
  • Meet with mentees
  • Join (or start) groups that speak to your interests in or outside of work
  • Collaborate across the business with other teams or departments
  • Reach out to coworkers for lunches or virtual coffee breaks

Tribes offer a sense of community and create a group of dedicated people to promote each other on their journey. What are you waiting for? Go get yours!

WISC group photo

Let's Talk Supply Chain

Collaborate and Engage

Gender diversity in the supply chain is a challenge many leaders in our industry struggle with. One of the sponsors of this year’s WISC Forum, The Blended Pledge, was born out of the necessity to create a visual representation of diverse voices across industries—one of which being supply chain.

In the discussion, “How to Promote DEI Efforts Company-Wide,” panelists shared how to challenge the status-quo from within the business. 

When speaking about equity, they shared how it is more than just being impartial. It is about how to give people the same opportunities—and in many cases being fair is different for different people. This requires a culture of sharing, education, and infrastructure to give leaders, managers, and teams the guidance and training to create respectful relationships between employees. 

When we are looking to strengthen results, start here:

  • Make deliberate decisions for well thought out success
  • Communicate clearly and be intentional on what needs to be achieved 
  • Practice how to collaborative with others
  • Learn from past experiences and team feedback

Getting the most from our teams requires us to give the best of ourselves. Inclusion begins  when we share and collaborate with others. Think to yourself now, how are you actively collaborating in your environment?

Celebrate Each Other and Yourself

Over the course of the Forum, we heard how to be a better coach, provide paths of clarity to others, and how to learn to be unbiased. This requires communication, collaboration, and coordination and a culture prepared to celebrate others.

During the event, imposter syndrome emerged as a significant subject. Conversations revolved around tales of self-doubt, concerns about failing, apprehension of disappointing others, or being labeled as overachievers in the context of business environments. In many cases, women felt the need to check every box and elevate others before themselves. Not only as a woman leader but also as an expert in supply chain technology, I challenge myself and others to do better everyday. 

Let’s start a culture of celebration:

  • Create resource groups 
  • Celebrate the wins publicly—both individually and collectively
  • Advocate for others to take on new challenges—and let yourself say yes
  • Give opportunities to share constructive feedback

Advocacy and recognition of others requires us all to do our part. When we celebrate others, word gets out and gives businesses a competitive edge. Good culture means easier recruiting and higher retention. So go celebrate what you’ve learned, advocate for yourself, and collaborate with others.

Yifat Baror , Chelsea Mori, and Sarah Barnes-Humphrey

Let's Talk Supply Chain

Until Next Year

The Women In Supply Chain Forum was an amazing experience and showcased the power of community and authentic connections among the attendees. People of all backgrounds from women to men to nonbinary joined in to share their journey’s, gain invaluable insights into the world of supply chain, and network to build new relationships. 

Next year, I hope to see more nominations and challenge everyone to nominate the women in the supply chain that make an impact.

Let’s break the glass ceiling together!

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