Hiring for the Future

Tisha Danehl, vice president of Ajilon, a national professional staffing agency serving the supply chain and logistics industries share these views with us in a recent interview.

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With the recent celebration of “International Women's Day,” Supply Chain Management Review was reminded of the vital role women play in our business community. Tisha Danehl, vice president of Ajilon, a national professional staffing agency serving the supply chain and logistics industries share these views with us in a recent interview.

Supply Chain Management Review: Where do you see the greatest growth for women in logistics?

Tisha Danehl: I see tremendous room for growth for women in logistics in leadership roles. While recent college graduates are continuing to enter the industry, the climb to the top of the corporate ladder remains challenging for women. Women account for 37% of students enrolled in university supply chain courses, according to SCM World's recent poll of global universities, yet just 5% of top-level supply chain positions at Fortune 500 companies are filled by women. That's compared to 15% of executive officer positions at the same organizations.

SCMR: So they are underrepresented?

Danehl: Yes, that's right. While women may be underrepresented in these management roles, there are certainly opportunities for them. In a report co-published by Gartner and AWESOME—a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing women's leadership in supply chain—researchers note that two ways companies can offset the gender imbalance include: filling the pipeline with more women in entry-level positions, and focusing on leadership development programs that ensure women are being actively considered, sponsored and advanced.

SCMR: So how do managers take advantage of this trend?

Danehl: To successfully create a diverse workforce, it's important that companies offer benefits and initiatives that can help attract and retain more women, such as flex time, mentorships, on-the-job training opportunities and competitive salaries.

SCMR: In what regions of the U.S. are you seeing that growth?

Danehl: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for logisticians is projected to grow 2% between 2014 and 2024. This growth is being driven by the need for logistics in the transportation of goods in a global economy. We're seeing growth throughout the U.S. within the industry. The BLS reports that the states with the highest employment level for logisticians include California, Texas, Michigan, Virginia and Ohio.

SCMR: Do you have any advice on how to break into the industry?

Daniel: An ideal place to start is to get a degree in supply chain and logistics. There are over 150 bachelor programs now available that will set you up for a successful career in the industry. Many companies now partner with universities to recruit college graduates directly.

SCMR: What about internships?

Danehl: Good questions. We encourage students interested in the supply chain and logistics field to pursue internship opportunities as early as possible in order to gain a competitive edge over other job seekers once they graduate. It's also a good idea to explore industry networking groups to meet new people with the experience you are seeking who are willing to help connect others. Many universities offer these types of groups through their alumni programs. There are also a number of groups you can join online through LinkedIn, such as Logistics and Supply Chain Professionals.

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About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson

Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor specializing in international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He is based in San Francisco, where he provides a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. He may be reached at his downtown office: [email protected].

View Patrick 's author profile.

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