There certainly are a lot more women in supply chain than ever before, but just how many more, and are they ascending into senior leadership positions?
The analysts at Gartner recently put together some numbers on this subject, as shown in the chart below. As you can see, women now make up 41% of students enrolled in undergraduate university programs related to supply chain management in the US. Although Gartner does not offer numbers for previous years, we are pretty certain that the percentage of female students in supply chain undergrad programs is up substantially from five years ago.
But as can also be seen, the percentage of women in director-level and above supply chain roles drops of quite a bit, to just 20%, and then there is a huge shortfall in terms of executive positions in the global Fortune 500, where women hold only 3% of the top spots.
of the supply chain talent pipeline [for women] has major leaks," Gartner says.
SCDigest says we need more data. Many director level positions are held by more senon managers who likely went to school when the percent of women in supply chain programs was much smaller than today, and that would be true even more so at the top of the supply chain org chart.
In other words, is the "leakage" as bad as these numbers might indicate, or has the pipeline "bulge" of women in supply chain simply not moved far enough along?
We would also like to have numbers relative to the number of women in graduate supply chain programs, which increasing produce the most senior executives over time.
Perhaps most importantly, are women leaving supply chain roles for another field, or are they running into a ceiling that prevents upward movement to more senior positions? Our guess: a bit of both.
There is a general consensus that there is an emerging "talent" crisis coming in the supply chain, as a wave of baby boomers are at or near retirement, and the demand for supply chain professionals keeps growing.
Developing and keeping more women in supply chain is certainly one important component of meeting this talent challenge.
Any Feedback on our Supply Chain Graphic of the Week? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.