Founder's Wall
Making it Their Business

Introduced: May 08 2013

You may have heard of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and her book and presentations on "Leaning In." There's another women's leadership initiative taking place simultaneously and this one focuses on the logistics and supply chain management industry. In case you aren't really familiar with logistics and supply chain management, a simple (overly simply, really) way to describe it is all the thinking and planning and execution that go into moving products and information all over the world. So, for example, the Corn Flakes on your table have to start in a field and then go to a plant and then be transported to perhaps a distribution center and then to a store where you take for granted it will be there when you want it. So, logistics and supply chain management are all about getting it there. And beyond that, the supply chain is being used increasingly as a powerful, flexible strategic tool by companies who want to be globally competitive and successful.


So, the "other" women's leadership initiative launched recently is AWESOME -- Advancing Women's Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management and Education -- a sweeping, energized effort to turn a field that's traditionally male into one where women with brains and big-picture thinking can use all their talents and leadership skills. At the head of the initiative is Ann Drake, CEO of DSC Logistics, a leading supply chain management firm and the first woman to be recognized by the industry with its highest award since the award was created 47 years ago.


I happen to know all this because, in my other life, I have helped Ann create AWESOME. The idea is to get leading female supply chain executives together to form a network that supports each other's leadership and collaborates on ways to develop up-and-coming women into top-notch leaders. For this initiative, it's not really focused on women needing to change inherent qualities that "hold them back" as much as it is about using inherent strengths to improve their businesses and this industry. And it's also about understanding how the industry can be more female-friendly, too. Wish us luck! And take part in the IWD dialogue on women's leadership.