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Why Women Should Consider a Career in Supply Chain Management

Industry leaders are encouraging women to consider careers in supply chain management as the competition for qualified talent heats up. Due to outdated gender norms, men have generally held jobs in this sector. However, the drive for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in all industries — including supply chain management — is reversing this antiquated norm.

Women are finding themselves welcome with companies seeking highly trained logistics professionals who can meet the demands of global economies. Moreover, women play an important role in increasing the diversity of thought and perspectives that can foster innovation and agility in times of disruption or growth.

Quite simply, the ability to source, manufacture and deliver goods and resources to a customer on time at minimal cost is the foundation of supply chain management. The University of West Florida (UWF) offers an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program with an emphasis in Supply Chain Logistics Management. This program teaches students how to increase profits, efficiency, growth and customer satisfaction by working with suppliers and others using analytical and strategic skills.

Reasons Why Supply Chain Management Is a Good Career Path for Women

Supply chain management is a solid career for women because it is a growing industry that pays well and provides extensive leadership opportunities. For example, a logistician ensures materials and other resources arrive at their destinations quickly. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for logisticians was $77,030 in May 2021. That same year, logisticians occupied 195,000 jobs, primarily in manufacturing, the federal government, professional, scientific and technical services, management and wholesale trade.

The ubiquitous globalization and complexity of modern supply chain networks demands a new type of supply chain management professional. Today’s supply chain leaders must have unique expertise and skill with international logistics, supply chain management information systems, business analytics and agile, strategic organizational management. The ability to study these subjects and develop advanced knowledge of current topics in the field are among the many benefits of earning an MBA in supply chain management.

The qualification, expertise, skill and cutting-edge knowledge gained from earning an MBA in supply chain management can also give women a competitive edge in ascending to evolving supply chain leadership positions. In fact, these positions can be lucrative. For instance, ZipRecruiter reports that “global supply chain managers” make an average salary of $103,676 annually, as of January 2023. Plus, many organizations have created executive-level supply chain positions, including the chief supply chain officer (CSCO). BLS reports that chief executives like CSCOs made a median annual salary of $179,520 in 2021.

Outlook for Jobs

Numerous supply chain management job opportunities are available in the U.S. and around the world. BLS projects employment of logisticians to increase 28% between 2021 and 2031, making it one of the 20 fastest growing occupations in the U.S.

Plus, according to Gartner’s Women in Supply Chain Survey 2021, while representation is still not equal, women are playing an increasingly important role in the supply chain field. Women accounted for 41% of the supply chain workforce in 2021, marking steady growth since Gartner began conducting the survey in 2016.

Yet, at the time of the survey, women only made up 15% of executive roles. Overcoming this disparity is yet another reason why women — and people of any underrepresented identity — should climb the supply chain career ladder. In fact, Gartner reports that a substantial majority of supply chain organizations have specifically targeted initiatives focusing on increasing women in the leadership pipeline. This bodes well for the potential of excellent leadership positions for women rising in the field.

Supply Chain Skills Are Transferable

Supply chain skills can also be applied to other professions. Some transferable skills and areas for supply chain professionals include:

  • Project management
  • Data analysis and technology
  • Familiarity with laws and regulations
  • Teamwork and leadership
  • Financial planning
  • Forecasting
  • Workflow optimization
  • Adaptability

Online MBA Program in Supply Chain Management

Professionals with extensive experience have numerous options to advance their careers through an online MBA program with an emphasis in supply chain logistics management. Students can take their courses online, and the program will prepare them to help global businesses succeed amid disruptions and complex economic and regulatory requirements. Furthermore, students will learn the leadership, group problem-solving and strategic business processes essential to meeting the demands of the logistics industry.

Learn more about the UWF online MBA with an emphasis in Supply Chain Logistics Management program.

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