4 thoughts on women in supply chain leadership from DSC Logistics' CEO

Ann Drake, president and CEO of DSC Logistics, is a female trailblazer in the male-dominated supply chain and logistics industry. Now, she's encouraging other women to follow her lead.

Ms. Drake founded Achieving Women's Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management and Education — or AWESOME — four years ago to help boost women leadership in supply chain. She is also a member the Paradigm for Parity coalition, a group of executives working to achieve gender parity in their companies' leadership roles.

She recently shared her thoughts on female leadership and supply chain in an interview with Supply Chain Quarterly.

Here are four quotes.

On receiving the Distinguished Service Award from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals:
"[W]hen I was giving my acceptance speech ... one of my lines was, "you remember when ... it was mostly all men." I was complimenting the industry for giving me the award. But then I looked out and realized there weren't many women in the room, and that things hadn't changed as much as I would have liked."

On her motivation to found AWESOME:
"I decided it was my responsibility to help advance women's leadership in supply chain, and that I would try to help more women advance in the field. I also felt we were at a tipping point because I had several women customers for the first time. So I thought maybe it was the right time to find senior women and get them together."

On addressing gender inequality in the workplace through Paradigm for Parity:
"Traditionally, surveys have found that women have to be more qualified than men to get hired into the same positions. We're not only making it OK for people to talk about this, but we're also giving them tools to do something about it. Those are some things I've done in my company, but we're all learning … Ultimately, our goal is to move the needle on senior positions. When that happens we'll know we've made an impact."

On womens' progress in supply chain:
"I feel like it has changed some in five years, partially because I'm constantly reaching out to women [in supply chain management] and finding them! We're bringing them into the AWESOME network. When we started, we were surprised to find 200 women in senior roles, and now we have more than 900 senior-level women in the network."

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