Supply Chain Now
Episode 1285

Women bring diverse perspectives. They enhance decision making and they contribute to a more effectively run supply chain.

-Pamela Steele

Episode Summary

Today we continue the Supply Chain Leadership Across Africa series as host Scott Luton and special guest host Jenny Froome are joined by Pam Steele, founder and CEO at Pamela Steele Associates, and Rebecca Alban, Senior Manager of Health Systems at VillageReach to discuss the gender imbalance in the global supply chain, particularly in the public health supply chain workforce.

Listen in as Pam and Rebecca highlight the importance of achieving gender balance in the industry, not just for equity, but also for improving supply chain performance. They also discussed the barriers women face in the industry, such as cultural norms, biases, and organizational cultures, and ideas for addressing the issues.

Join us for an inspiring conversation about the role women play in the healthcare workforce, and the transformational impact they can have on it.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

Welcome to Supply Chain. Now the voice of global supply chain supply chain now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues, the challenges and opportunities. Stay tuned to hear from Those Making Global Business happen right here on supply chain now.

Scott Luton (00:32):

Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you are, Scott Luton and special guest host Jenny Froom here with you on Supply Chain. Now, welcome to today’s show, Jenny. How you doing?

Jenny Froome (00:42):

I’m doing really well. Just arrived in the glorious Cape town and the sun is shining. That’s

Scott Luton (00:47):

Not the sun. That’s all the industry stars you’ve got gathered there in Cape Town. It’s shining bright. But hey, more to come on that soon. Great to have you here as always. Now, Jenny, we cranked this series years ago, right? Today’s episode, we’re contending with our popular supply chain leadership across Africa series. Now, Jenny, the best and the brightest. Innovative minds, brilliant minds. It’s amazing these conversations we’ve had for years now, huh?

Jenny Froome (01:12):

It never gets old. It really doesn’t. And I was just explaining to someone the other day the huge thing that we’ve done really by shining the spotlight on African supply chains because there is such a wealth of immense talent on this continent that people don’t understand and they don’t know about.

Scott Luton (01:30):

You said it very poetic, a wealth of immense talent that absolutely can be found throughout the dozens of countries across the continent of Africa. And this conversation we’re having today is just going to add to this longstanding tradition. We’ve gotten a lot of feedback around the world from these conversations. Also, one important note, Jenny, we’re pleased to conduct today’s episode in partnership with our friends at Village Reach a powerful nonprofit that is transforming healthcare delivery to reach everyone. In fact, their critical work enables access to quality healthcare. Get this folks for 70 million people learn more and help support the mission@villagereach.org. Okay? As I mentioned, we’ve got an outstanding show here today, Jenny. We’re going to be discussing the gender imbalance across global supply chain, in particular the public health supply chain workforce. We’re not only going to be examining this challenge and its impact on industry, but we’re also going to be discussing a few ways that our audience members can do something about it to help create opportunities for advancement for all. Jenny should be a good show, huh?

Jenny Froome (02:27):

It’s going to be a great show. Really excellent people engaging.

Scott Luton (02:31):

Good, great. Super extraordinary. I think I’ve got the progression down. It’s going to be a wonderful conversation, folks. So stay tuned. Let’s briefly introduce and welcome in our guest here today, Jenny, starting with Pam, steel founder and CEO at Pamela Steel Associates. Pam, how you doing?

Jenny Froome (02:48):

I’m doing great, Scott.

Scott Luton (02:49):

It is so nice to finally connect with you. I can’t wait to learn more from your perspective and expertise. And you’re joined by our new friend, Rebecca Alban, senior manager of Health Systems at Village Reach. Rebecca, how you doing? Doing

Rebecca Alban (03:03):

Very well. Happy to be here.

Scott Luton (03:04):

Welcome in as we make no bones about it, big fans of what you and your organization are doing. Looking forward to learning a lot more from you and Pam. So Jenny, first things first. I think Rebecca and Pam a lot better than I do. So I’m looking forward to kind of even things up. So let’s get to know our guests first a little bit better. So Pam, a little Birdie has told us that you played on the Kenya’s National Women’s Field Hockey team. You probably can write a book about that experience, right? But what is one element of that aspect of your journey that you’ll never forget?

Pamela Steele (03:36):

Thank you, Scott. So in the spirit of breaking the gender barrier, we only have the Kenya Men’s hockey team. And in 1989, we decided to set up the Kenya Women’s Hockey team, and I was one of the first women to join the team, and I played the team on for three months until one day a ball hit my belly when I was three months pregnant. Oh, wow. And that’s when I realized that I needed to think twice whether I love the game so much more than my baby, and I had to quit. So that remained with me, but the baby came out fine, superb, and doing greatly.

Scott Luton (04:13):

Wow. What an incredible story. And I bet Jenny, that would give anybody pause whether you’re playing field hockey or any of these other teams in sports, which we’re going to get into in just a second. Rebecca, Jenny, have you ever played field hockey? Can you relate to Pam’s experience?

Jenny Froome (04:27):

No, I can’t. But my husband Clive, played for England under nineteens apparently. So hockey is a popular sport in these circles, it seems. I was a lacrosse girl myself, didn’t really do hockey.

Scott Luton (04:39):

Okay. There’s some similarities between field hockey and lacrosse, aren’t there, Pam? A little bit,

Pamela Steele (04:44):

Yes. Yes, there

Scott Luton (04:45):

Is. Okay, that’s what I thought.

Jenny Froome (04:46):

You’ve got to be aggressive.

Scott Luton (04:48):

Yeah, that’s right. Aggressive. That’s who wins the games. Speaking of interesting parallel here, because Rebecca, you played rugby throughout college and we’re told you’ve only broken one bone, which has got to be quite the

Pamela Steele (05:01):

Exception. Amazing.

Scott Luton (05:04):

So Rebecca, what is one thing that more folks around the globe should know about the sport of rugby?

Rebecca Alban (05:09):

Yeah, that’s a great question. And I love that we have a cast of women athletes on this podcast. It’s very exciting. I would say. I get asked all the time about the rules for women’s rugby, and I want people to know that yes, women play rugby competitively and they play by the same roles as men,

Scott Luton (05:26):

And that’s how it should be, right, Rebecca?

Rebecca Alban (05:29):

That’s right. Yeah, it’s a great sport. The comradery is wonderful. It’s a really unique sport, and I hope other women know that it’s an option for them to

Scott Luton (05:36):

Play. So Rebecca, what position on the rugby team did you play?

Rebecca Alban (05:40):

Well, listeners can’t see, but I’m small, so I played on the Wing and I played on fullback. So I wasn’t one of the big people in the scrum. I was one of the small, scrappy people that runs the ball

Scott Luton (05:50):

On the wing where folks, they can throw it out there. And you’re going for the score. Is that right, Rebecca?

Rebecca Alban (05:55):

That’s right, yeah. I grew up playing soccer. I was a good kicker as well. I could kick it over people and then run and get it.

Scott Luton (06:00):

Jenny, I have just used up all every iota of knowledge I have about rugby. How about you?

Jenny Froome (06:06):

You did very well

Scott Luton (06:10):

Last time I was in Cape Town, as I’d mentioned, I was fascinated with a lot of the rugby being played, rugby and soccer and cricket on tv.

Jenny Froome (06:17):

So Clive actually went to rugby school in the UK and apparently rugby was invented when William, we Ellis picked up the ball and ran. Dunno if that’s urban legend or whatever it is, but that’s apparently the background of how it all started.

Scott Luton (06:33):

I love those urban legends, whether they’re true or not, it’s always a fascinating twist on things we know and love. Okay, so now that we’ve learned a little bit more about Pam and Rebecca and I can only imagine the leadership lessons they learned from their athletic experiences, but I want to continue to level set, offer some more context to our audience. And Rebecca, we’re going to stay with you for a moment here. So you have worked extensively in the global healthcare field, having lived and worked in Africa, south America, the US and now Spain. And you’ve also co-authored multiple research publications on a variety of industry topics. So if you would tell us briefly about what Village Reach does and what you do at the organization.

Rebecca Alban (07:10):

Great, thank you for the question. I work for Village Reach, as you mentioned, which is a nonprofit that does a lot of work mainly out of Africa. And we focus on building strong and responsive primary health systems that can serve everyone with a particular focus on reach populations. A lot of the systems building work that we’ve done over the last 20 years has focused on strengthening the public health supply chain. So that means ensuring that people get the health products that they need when and when they’re needed. And that could be anything from malaria or HIV medications, immunizations, but also the equipment needed behind that. So making sure there’s gloves and syringes to get the immunizations into people’s arms. And in terms of my role, I am a senior manager on our health systems team and I focus on the health workforce. So that means I focus on people and within the health workforce are the supply chain workforce, the people behind the scenes that are running our supply chains, selecting the products, calculating demand, designing the data systems, and we focus on how these people are being supported to do their job. Are they getting the right training? How are they being motivated and upskilled? And within that is gender. And so that’s a connection to our conversation today,

Scott Luton (08:23):

Rebecca. I love that on so many different levels from the Noble mission to your focus on people, we have so many opportunities even in this technological era because as our dear friend Kevin L. Jackson says it’s a human factor that powers for digital transformation. So we’ve got a lot to get into. So stay tuned here. Pam. Switching gears, you’re a well-known health supply chain expert. Jenny Froom said that the Rolling Stones open for you, Pam, I’m not sure if that’s true or not. You’re originally from Kenya. I think you’re near the Lake City region in Kenya right now. Yes. For over 30 you’ve worked with organizations from Oxfam to UNICEF to your own supply chain consultancy. So if you would tell us briefly about Pamela Steel Associates and what you do there.

Pamela Steele (09:04):

Thanks so much, Scott. And just point out again that it seems like there’s so much similarity between PSA myself and also Rebecca, that in Hein introduction she said she played fullback and also the Wing. That’s exactly the position I played. And then listening to her talk about her work. Also, no wonder we perhaps are partners because PSA is a management consulting company that focuses in transforming health supply chains in the continent of Africa. But also we do research to inform some of the decisions that we make and also focus on workforce capacity development. Just like Rebecca and the village reach. My role in PSA is to lead the team in the transformational projects that we undertake on behalf of our clients. And one of the focus, again, is transforming the human resource, the workforce aspect of it in order for them to deliver competently the services that are required within the supply chain. And over the years in my course of work, I have seen the lack of gender representation in heroes within the supply chain and again, making the subject of our discussion today. So thank you so much,

Scott Luton (10:13):

Pam. Good stuff. And Jenny, I’ll tell you what, as Pam pointed out, there are tons of common threads between Pam’s and Rebecca’s journey from the athletic piece to their work and transformation research. Of course, their keen focus on the human element across supply chain. Your thoughts, Jenny,

Jenny Froome (10:31):

It’s always amazing. And having the time to have these sorts of conversations gives us the opportunity to find out these common threads. I think, and that’s what you do so well, Scott, is that you always draw these out of us. You help us to see the person behind the job, which is so important because so often we’re so intense on talking about our jobs and our role and our professional passions that we forget about the people that we are. So thank you for making us talk about ourselves.

Scott Luton (10:59):

Jenny, that’s high praise, but I learned from the best just to kind of continue your thought there. I think as humans, maybe you all can relate. A lot of times we go first to talking about our differences and if we kind of change our mindset, they go first and explore where we are so similar, I think we’d get a lot more stuff done, but hey, I’ll save that for another conversation. Okay, so Pam, you gave us a great segue, you and Jenny both and Rebecca, I want to start with you here as we get into the big theme we’re talking about here today, which is creating opportunity for all in this gender imbalance we have in industry, certainly in supply chain and in particular in the public health supply chain workforce. So Rebecca, I want to open up our conversation here with your thoughts on why it’s important to achieve more gender balance in the industry.

Rebecca Alban (11:41):

I would say gender equity is a goal that we always attain when we’re looking across different health workforces. But what makes it unique for supply chain is I actually see attaining gender equity as an opportunity improve supply chains and how they work in their efficiencies. And I can tell you why. If you think about this public health supply chain as it’s a public service, right? Whose job is to get products to their communities. And whenever you develop a product or service, the number one rule always is to understand your users, understand their preferences, their challenges, what they want and need in their lives. And women are primary users of the public health supply chain. They’re some of your top beneficiaries of the supply chain because they consume a lot of products for themselves. But on top of that, women are usually the caregivers of children. So they’re also responsible and consumers of obtaining these products for children. So that’s anything from immunization to all the types of services that children need to grow up and be healthy. So that’s why we really need women at the table to design and manage these supply chains to make sure that they’re designed and run in a way that’s actually responsive to women’s needs and who knows that better than women.

Scott Luton (12:49):

Well said Rebecca, because they are the users, the caregivers, the decision makers oftentimes as your point. Now, Pam, if you would comment really quick and then I’ve got another question for you about how this imbalance manifests itself. What Rebecca say that resonates with you there, Pam.

Pamela Steele (13:02):

It does Scott. I think Rebecca has simply underscored the why. We are talking about the need for gender mainstreaming. It’s not just for the sake of it. I mean people go to hospital because they are sick. So if you think of how they are expected to access that care

Rebecca Alban (13:20):

And

Pamela Steele (13:21):

The lack of it, and I find that often there are no women at the frontline to anticipate the needs of those women. It’s not just in the public healthcare supply chain domain, it’s also in the humanitarian sector where perhaps they have lost everything and the only thing they’re left with is their dignity.

Scott Luton (13:37):

Pam. Well said. And actually I’m going to cheat. I’m going to get Jenny really quick for our follow up with Pam here on another question. Jenny, Rebecca and Pam both spoke to the why. Anything you would add there, Jenny?

Jenny Froome (13:48):

No, and I think it’s one of those reasons why I became so interested in the entire public health supply chain sector is because supply chains run well in this sector, save lives and make people’s lives better. And so what you’ve said absolutely encapsulates it and people don’t often stop and think about particularly in areas of conflict, what women particularly have to go through from gathering the basic rights of reproductive health commodities and all those issues that we never really as a general public talk about.

Scott Luton (14:22):

We got to lean into those conversations. To your point, Jenny, that’s how we’re going to make more progress. So Pam, I’m going to continue the conversation here and if you would, from your perspective, how does this gender imbalance that we’re all speaking to manifest itself out in the industry and how has it impacted you and your work

Pamela Steele (14:38):

Gender imbalance in manifests across various levels of the supply chain sector? I think it’s not just at the leadership level also, and this stems from the limited representation of women in leadership roles to disparities in pay. Women are underpaid than male colleagues and the gender gap is pervasive in the entire industry, I should say. So personally, my work, I have encountered instances where my gender has been affected, for example, just by the way my ideas are perceived or the opportunities that I’m presented with, especially early in my career, but with the time I’ve had to sort of demonstrate that I am capable and that has helped a lot, but there’s still work to be done, especially for folks coming up.

Scott Luton (15:23):

No doubt. And to one of your last points there, we’ve seen a needle move a little bit. I was looking at research I think from Gartner to the day, but most of the gains seemingly have been made at the frontline manager up to the VP level. And we’ve taken a step back that roles like the chief supply chain officer, the really high level roles. So we got a lot more work to do. But the good news I did want to point out is the industry seemingly is starting to not only understand this perspective they’re all speaking about, but do something with it then of course the action. We can’t do much with lip service leadership, right? We got to take action. So Rebecca, I’ll come to you. Anything you want to comment on what we just heard there from Pam in terms of how it impacted her journey as well as others out in the industry?

Rebecca Alban (16:05):

Yeah, absolutely. Well, I can echo what you’re saying. Having worked in the industry over around 15 years, I’m dating myself a little bit, but it’s something that I felt personally and it’s what drove my interest in doing some of the reaches that we’ve done here at Village Reach, which I’ll talk about, but something that I felt personally, but there hasn’t been a lot of real numbers or evidence behind it. And so that’s what motivated our research.

Scott Luton (16:26):

Love that, Rebecca, and we look forward to diving into that in just a moment. Jenny, anything else you want to add before we talk about this really cool initiative called Wise with Pam?

Jenny Froome (16:34):

And I also just want to add to what Rebecca was saying is that it’s getting that data from Africa that’s so important. The number of people who are doing research and they can’t find North America, Europe’s great, we’ve got lots of statistics, but Africa is a region. And of course then you’ve got to break it down into all the different cultures and all the different religions and everything that resides on this continent of ours. So the research that needs to be done is huge, but there are organizations like Village Reach that are starting to do that. And that’s what’s really important is that we know from Africans what the situation is.

Scott Luton (17:11):

Jenny, excellent point. If I want to piggyback on it just for a second today, folks that they’re listening and viewing us today, we’re focused more on the gender aspect of the wild world of diversity. But I think all of us, all four of us really, while that may be our focus here today, we all believe that there should be opportunities for all in any sort of way you define diversity. And that’s kind of what Jenny, I loved your point there. It’s really important. Okay, so Pam, tell us about, I’ve done a little bit of reading on this initiative called Wise. Tell us about it and what inspired you to start it.

Pamela Steele (17:39):

So Y stands for Women in Supply Chain excellence and it was born out of the ity for gender sensitivity right after the Indian tsunami earthquake of 2004, which killed almost 250,000 people across the Indian Ocean. And women were the majority who bought the brunt of that. So at the time that was 2004, there were very, very few women in humanitarian logistics and in the frontline. And so there was need for advocacy to really increase the number of women in humanitarian logistics in order to ensure that women’s needs are addressed adequately and sensitively. So the advocacy was important and they worked with male allies in the key organizations to try and promote the need for gender based streaming in humanitarian logistics. And we made some strides. I mean, the advocacy achieved so much. Yeah, there’s been some progress, but there’s still more work to be done,

Scott Luton (18:33):

More work to be done. There always will be. We’ll celebrate when we cross finish lines. But as a wonderful leader, the late and incredible Sandra McQuillan reminded me, Scott, just finish lines that we call Tom timeouts and we celebrate and then we start the next race and she sure is missed. But Pam, I love that and congrats. I think if my math is right and I always get challenged on that. That’s 20 years your 20th anniversary. Yes, yes. Oh wow. Absolutely love that, Pam. Okay, so we’re going to dial it a little bit more in on the gender imbalance out in industry. And Rebecca, I’m looking forward to kind of as you mentioned a moment ago, more on the data side. So Rebecca, how do we know there’s a gender imbalance in the public health supply chain workforce? Any data you can share there?

Rebecca Alban (19:14):

Yeah, absolutely. And as Jenny was saying before, that’s the part that’s been missing. I think the missing piece has been getting data from the Africa region. It’s something that a lot of us in the industry have felt for a number of years, but there hasn’t been much published research to really back up that assumption. So Village Reach decided to do our own research to validate this. And what we did is we went to the countries that we know, we went to the DRC, we went to Malawi, and we talked to loads of public health supply chain professionals, the training institutions who train professionals, government stakeholders and partners to really try to paint a broader picture of what are the current gender dynamics in this field? What are we seeing? What are the challenges and barriers that women face on entering and actually progressing through this career path?

(19:58):

And the ultimate goal was of course, numbers, but really we also wanted to come up with solutions, right? We’re very action oriented. So we wanted to say, okay, based on what we learned from this research, what can we actually do in our program work to address these barriers and how can we make recommendations to other peer organizations, to governments and other supply chain actors to help close the gender gap? So that’s the research that I’m talking about. But to go back to your original question, how do we know The research showed overwhelmingly that there is indeed an inequity across this workforce and that the inequity grows even more pronounced as you progress through to leadership levels. So that gender gap is wider at leadership levels. We also conducted a survey amongst the International Association of Public Health logisticians, which is a group of over 8,000 public health logisticians globally. And 85% of the respondents felt that this profession is male dominated. So that spoke very loudly across the perceptions across this field, across the globe, that people really do feel this inequity.

Scott Luton (20:58):

It sounds like you went to the gemba and you went to the folks that are doing it, and that’s where these findings came from and that Jenny, that is what makes the most valuable research, right? Not based on theories, not based on alternative realities. It is facts and from the practitioners themselves. Your thoughts, Jenny?

Jenny Froome (21:14):

No, a hundred percent. And I think that obviously the more tactile or the more interactive the engagement and the research rather than it just being email surveys, et cetera, then the more important it is talking to the community health workers out there, talking to the real people who are managing the clinics in the hard to reach places. This is the research that needs to get done and fed back.

Scott Luton (21:37):

Well said. So Pam, I think all four of us here, we love getting to the root cause. We love getting to the why, and we’re going to do another round of that here. So Pam, in your view, why do we see this imbalance that we’re all speaking about and what do you see as some of the contributing factors?

Pamela Steele (21:52):

Scott? I think this can be attributed to societal norms. I mean, coming from Africa, growing here, some of us grew up knowing our place in the family, in the kitchen, there were duties that would be done by girls and boys that had to be done by boys. In any case, boys had the opportunity to be studying and the girls would be left to do the housework. So that was more to do with the societal norms and of course biases as well. Stereotypes have been attributed to this. And I would say also organizational cultures. You go to organizations where you find girls are given clerical jobs, why boys are given more technical jobs. So it’s something that we see even to today despite the women’s emancipation.

Scott Luton (22:35):

So it’s interesting about organizational cultures. Part of your response there, and Rebecca, I’m coming to you next, but in my journey and my experience, I’m kind of extrapolating through what others undeniably probably experienced as well. But one of my first jobs after high school, I won’t point too many fingers, but as I arrived in my duty station and I met for the first time, one of the section managers, his name was Richard, and he sat me down in this conference room as one-to-one, and he looked at me now and said, you will fear me. And when I think about the organizational culture that you’re talking about, Pam and my experience as a male and how that type of conversation even in 2024 still probably plays out in different ways. No wonder as we think about all the reasons how we got here, Rebecca, let’s go to you. When you think about some of these contributing factors, whether it’s organizational cultures and many others, what are your thoughts there?

Rebecca Alban (23:22):

Yeah, well, I’m happy to share some of the findings from our research and what we learned from a lot of the interviews and focus groups that we conducted. And NASPA said she was spot on. Some of our findings were around the barriers presented by cultural norms around domestic responsibilities, perhaps being at odds with some of this work. We did hear a lot of descriptions of travel being complicated for women. As we know in supply chain to do field work, a lot of times you need to travel to advance, you need to travel, but barriers come up when travel with other males can be viewed as inappropriate. Travel on your own as a woman in many contexts can be dangerous. Traveling overnight for work can be a little contentious if you have other domestic responsibilities that add. So that became the barriers started to stack up more and more.

(24:06):

As we talked about that, we also heard a lot of women talk about the earlier parts of their career or even before their career in their education phase being steered away from math and sciences course because the expectation was that they would not perform as well. And so they weren’t set up in the right way to pursue a supply chain career because they were encouraged to go into more caring professions or professions that were more suitable for women. So that was very discouraging to hear, but I think it’s very relevant and we heard it over and over again in all of our different contexts. Another thing that we heard was kind of an incomplete picture of what a supply chain career can look like. A lot of women didn’t quite understand what it could involve thought of. It was mainly just lifting boxes and driving trucks. But as all of us know, there’s a lot more to a career in public health supply chain. There’s all the work that goes on behind the scenes, all of the planning and the project management and the systems building and the problem solving, they did all of that wasn’t always clear to people so that when they looked at the career path and they thought that maybe it would just be involved with manual labor, it wasn’t as attractive. But I think if they saw the forward picture, it could change their perception.

Scott Luton (25:14):

Absolutely. Change your perception and change your trajectory, change your life. Right, man. We need like a 12 part series just based on Rebecca’s last response there. Jeannie, I’m coming to you next for your commentary, but I want to mention one quick thing, and this is out in the public realm. Many of y’all may be familiar with Laura Cesare. We’ve been fortunate to interview her here at Supply Chain now. And one anecdote part of her journey that kind of goes Rebecca to one of your comments about how organization culture, people can steer folks from what they should be exploring. As I recall, as we were talking about her experience in engineering in college, she happened to not do well on exam or a quiz, and her instructor picked up her score with all these red marks and held it in front of the class and said verbatim, according to Laura, this is why women should not be engineers. That was one of those early moments in her career that she used for fuel. And she’s gone on to do some great big things in industry and that has always stuck with me as a father of two daughters that I want to know they can do whatever they want to do in this world. That’d be some significant motivation. But Jenny, Pam and Rebecca both spoke to some of the contributing factors. And before we get into the actions we can take, which will be my favorite part of this conversation,

Jenny Froome (26:20):

So many thoughts. But one of the observations is I went to one of my very first women in supply chain discussions years ago, about seven years ago, and I was sitting next to a chap and I was sort of intrigued as to why he was in this discussion. And he’s the father of three daughters, and so he wants to start breaking down those stereotypes I was affected by, I can remember being told this is why girls are no good at maths. I mean, I don’t think it was because I was a girl, I think I just wasn’t good at maths. But it’s that it’s breaking down those stereotypes that we all have to work so hard to do.

Scott Luton (26:56):

Yeah, so well said. And we could use advocates from across industry to help us do that for sure. And that’s a great segue. Thank you Jenny and Rebecca and Pam, because I want to get into actions we can take. So as I think all of us have pointed out some of these factors, these contributing factors are certainly societal. Some of them of course are out of our control and a lot of ’em are not unique to global supply chain. So let’s talk about some of the actions that our panel here recommends that we can do, which can help lead to more women coming into these career fields, right? Public health supply chain, global supply chain, or really any industry. And also equally as important progressing because it’s not good enough just to help folks break in, we got to provide advancement opportunities. So let’s start with you, Rebecca. In your view, what can and should be done?

Rebecca Alban (27:42):

Thanks Scott. And you’re right, we’re not going to be changing cultural norms in the work that we do, but we do recognize that there are existing channels that we can work through to improve how women are first engaged in the public health supply chain workforce and then how they grow in it. And as we were hinting at earlier, some of the channeling starts quite early, and so we have to engage youths at the time they’re being educated, make sure that they have a full picture of what a career in supply chain can look like for them and let them decide if it’s a good fit for them. Creating linkages between educational programs and employers is one of those kind of low hanging fruit opportunities that we see that can help to get women on that career path and get them the support that they need to stay on it.

(28:25):

We would love to see more internship programs to this effect. I think Pam can speak a little bit to that, the reasons why later. And then in terms of getting other job opportunities and growing, we saw opportunities to look at different policies and practices that employers have. Even recruitment practices for how you bring people on board can be reviewed to make sure that they’re actually gender equitable or are those policies in line. We interviewed a number of organizations in most did not have even some basic policies around sexual harassment or whistle blowing. So to make sure those are in place to provide a safe, equitable working environment for women is some of those really low hanging fruit things that we can look at.

Scott Luton (29:05):

Love that

Rebecca Alban (29:06):

It sounds simple, but I think it’s really important. It’s around elevating female supply chain, and it kind of goes back to what I was saying earlier about needing women to be at that table to run the supply chains. We need to recognize that women may need a little push up the career ladder to be able to do that. So that means purposefully selecting women for capacity, building opportunities for presenting their ideas at conferences, for being on those decision making committees. It may take an extra push, but that’s what it would take to get women at that table and help to shape the supply chain.

Scott Luton (29:38):

Rebecca, I love how actionable almost all of recommendations are. Going back to the internships, folks listening or watching out there, you might hear the word internship and kind of think it’s cliche, it’s been around forever. If constructed in a forward looking way, they can be so powerful. To your point, Rebecca, Pam, when you think about the actions that we got that we should be taking to close the gap and create more opportunities for folks to enter and progress, what comes to your mind? Pam?

Pamela Steele (30:04):

Scott? I think the example you gave about the teacher saying about why women should not do engineering just led my thought to education and awareness that we need to promote gender sensitivity. So that will be so important that people are made aware of this, but also the policies and organization will change. I think enforcing policies that promote gender equality around pay around say flexible working parental leave. There are women who fear losing their jobs when they go for maternity leave and the recruitment that Rebecca said should be fair and unbiased and that should be viewed also the promotional purchase that they take and the retention of staff so that women don’t fear that if they have to leave work for maternity leave again that they not get their work. But the point she mentioned about internship is so important. I’ll talk about it because we’ve recently launched a program known as Girls on the Move, and the Girls on the Move was born out of the need to improve gender balance in health, Arian supply chains, but also address youth and employment.

(31:10):

Rebecca touched about engaging youth at the beginning, appetite of being educated. So we have young women who finish diploma in supply chain, degree in supply chain, but lack opportunities to get jobs. Now you may hear about internship and things that it’s so straightforward here in my country, in Kenya, perhaps in many African countries, some of those internships are paid for, you have to pay in order to get the internship. Now to even get that internship is not that easy. So in the Girls on the Move, we were able to advertise for the girls who then had the qualification in supply chain and had not got jobs at all in three years or two. And then we also reached out to almost 10 employers across the state or county for that matter here in Kenya as we call them at the subnational level. And were able to place about 36 girls for almost eight months of internship.

(32:08):

We were lucky to have Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition to put some seed funding in it that helped us with their transport to and from work. And in eight months time they were able to get mentoring, they were able to get development technical and also in soft skills such that by the time the project ended, we had 13 already getting contracts for employment. Girls that never dreamt they would get jobs who told us that by the time we found them, their brain are going to sleep and are now producing so much, contributing effectively to improving supply chain. I checked one year down the line and we have now 21 in employment, actually three of them are in business, but 19 are on jobs earning money. And that has transformed not just their lives, but even their family’s lives, somehow already taking responsibility to support their siblings. And one thing that touches me so much is when they tell me that they’re now able to buy even their sanitary parts, things that they relied on their parents for those who came from orphan background, that they relied only on their dad to give them money for the sanitary part that the fee so empowered that they can do that now. So Gas on the move has been so impactful and we are now looking to skin the project up in partnership with Village Reach. So we are reaching out for that support.

Scott Luton (33:31):

Oh wow. Jenny, I’m going to give you the first comment. I’m blown away with those lives that Pam and her team of volunteers and associates have changed. Jenny, your thoughts?

Jenny Froome (33:41):

Role models. It’s what we as human beings, we always need role models and in this profession and through platforms like Supply Chain, now we learn more and more about the people who we can look up to, who we can emulate, who we can want to be just like, and Pamela and Rebecca are examples and we’ve got so many incredible women in this profession. You’ve mentioned Laura, we’ve got people like Maryanne Ross and Joni Holman and Carol Patak and all these women who are trailblazers. Cix itself has had four women presidents in its history, which is, and I know it’s nearly 65 years, but we need role models and we need women to speak up more and we need women to champion each other. That’s basically what the youth are looking

Pamela Steele (34:29):

To.

Scott Luton (34:29):

Excellent point. Lots of special people You just mentioned, you didn’t mention Maryanne Ross’s new Hound Trapper. John do Jen, we got to give a shout out to Trapper John. Shout out to Trapper John. Kidding aside, Pam, goodness gracious. 21 Young Ladies with Jobs or 19 with Jobs, 21 in business. I think if I heard those numbers right and that newfound sense of independence and empowerment and a new trajectory in their careers and having their fate in their hands based on the program that Girls On the Move program that y’all have launched. So kudos. We’re looking forward to getting updates. Hopefully some of our listeners and viewers out there might want to jump in the mission and help support Pam and whether it’s Wise or Girls on the move, or of course Rebecca and the Village Reach team, which help so many of these types of things happen as well.

(35:16):

It’s all about outcomes and results. I love these conversations we’re having because so many of ’em are so focused on what’s really getting done, not what we should do, not what it’d be nice to do, but how we’re changing lives. So kudos. I’m so thankful for leaders like Pam and Rebecca and Jenny. Okay, so we’re going to make sure folks want to connect. Rebecca, I want to give you a chance before we get into the one thing, Rebecca comment if you would, on what we heard there from what Pam and Girls On the Move work your thoughts?

Rebecca Alban (35:45):

Yeah, thanks Scott. I have a huge fan of the Girls on the Move Pro Gym. As Pam said, we are working together with her to try to scale it to across Kenya but also into other countries with the help of Village, village reach and our footprint. I think what’s so great about it and relates to our conversation is that it helps to level the playing field. And so much of what our research showed is that women have less access to assets and education. And that training and soft skills that Pam was talking about is really what’s key to that program so that by the time they leave, they have not just the hard skills but the soft skills to be able to pursue the careers that they want and to shape the supply chains. Most of the women got jobs working for the public health supply chain, so we love it and are looking forward to seeing it grow.

Scott Luton (36:29):

No doubt, man, maybe we can all get together and interview some of these new leaders making their impact felt out in the industry. So we’ll have to save that as an action item later. Pam, Rebecca, and Jenny. Okay, covered a lot of ground here, right? And I’ll tell you, I’m ashamed to say I’ve got a seven second attention span and hey, I bet some of our listeners and viewers out there, if they’re keeping it real, they’ll raise their hand and say, I do too, Scott, for those folks out there, they may forget everything else we’ve talked about here today because that’s human nature. But what’s one thing that each of y’all would challenge our audience to remember about women and supply chain from our conversation here today? And Rebecca, I’m going to stick with you here. Your thoughts?

Rebecca Alban (37:06):

Great. Seven seconds. I would say that the gender imbalance is more than just an equity issue. It is an opportunity to make our supply chains perform better and reach people better.

Scott Luton (37:18):

Well said Rebecca. And that’s not a luxury these days. Our global supply chains have to change how we do business so we can optimize ’em and deliver for all. So I love that. Rebecca, Pam, same question. What’s one thing folks got to remember?

Pamela Steele (37:31):

The transformative impact of their inclusion and leadership? I think women bring diverse perspectives. They enhance decision making and they contribute to a more effectively run supply chain.

Scott Luton (37:45):

Absolutely transformative for sure. Big theme for today’s conversation and better yet, transformation. Not in the theoretical sense, but in the real human practical sense. I appreciate all of y’all’s leadership there. Jenny. I’m going to give you the option, right? You’re one of the OGs here in the supply chain now family. So you get options if you want to speak to one thing folks got to take away from this conversation or one of your favorite takeaways from today’s conversation, your thoughts, Jenny.

Jenny Froome (38:11):

One of the things I want to say, which is very easy to say from a position of privilege, is just try not to be defined by your gender. Try to be defined by your talent and by what it is that you are good at. And try not to let anybody put you down because of your gender.

Scott Luton (38:27):

Wow, Jenny, love that. That’s about the 27th T-shirt ism I think I’ve gotten from all three of y’all here today. But what a great message. Don’t be defined by your gender, be defined by your talent, be defined by the mission that you’re serving and the outcomes that you’re producing. So what a great message to leave of people here today. Big thanks to all three of you. I want to make sure folks, how to connect with you though, and your missions and get involved. Maybe they want to talk shop right on a phone call or at one of the events or maybe hopefully they’ll jump in and support the Noble missions that you’re on. And Rebecca, let’s start with you. Rebecca Albin. How can folks connect with you and the Village Reach team?

Rebecca Alban (39:02):

Yeah, they can connect with me on LinkedIn. They could go to the Village Reach website and anyone who is going to be at the Safe Bigs conference in South Africa coming up, we have a great team that’s going to be there as well. So you can contact any of my colleagues and learn more about our supply chain work, our gender work, and any of our broader work as well. We look forward to hearing from you

Scott Luton (39:22):

Folks. Take Rebecca up on that. Me and Jenny both have had a good fortune of meeting plenty of folks from the Village Reach team. You’ll enjoy those conversations. And I would just add before I move the Pam and Jenny to our audience out there, if you’re in position to contribute resources to the critical mission that Village reaches on, we invite you to do just that. As we mentioned on the front end, these efforts, their efforts have enabled access to quality healthcare for 70 million. People talk about making a difference, but there’s a lot more work to be done as all of us have been talking about. So joining the mission, you can learn more@villagereach.org. Alright, so Pam Steele, I’m so glad I finally have had a chance to meet you and our audience has finally had a chance to meet you. I can’t wait to reconnect with you more on both Wise and Girls on the Move. Fascinating programs. So how can folks connect with you? Pam Steele?

Pamela Steele (40:08):

I can reach on my LinkedIn, but they can also reach me on www dot pam steel do org, www do palm steele org.

Scott Luton (40:19):

It’s just that easy. And folks, Steele has an E, so that’s Pam, PAM, Steele ST e.org. Is that right, Pam?

Pamela Steele (40:29):

Yes.

Scott Luton (40:30):

Wonderful, wonderful. Thank you so much for taking time out here today. I appreciate the big time outcomes that you are leading out in the industry. Jenny Froom, I’ll tell you what, I know you got several full plates right now, but I’m so glad you joined us here today. How can folks connect with you and all the cool things you’re up to?

Jenny Froome (40:46):

LinkedIn’s the easiest place. I am quite active. I’m the one with all the typing mistakes in my LinkedIn post, so you’ll know it’s me, Jenny Froom.

Scott Luton (40:55):

I think a lot of us could vie for that title. Jenny, I know I am the king of typos for sure, but regardless, Jenny, free, really appreciate all that you do and all of our good collaboration here that brings incredible leaders like Pam and Rebecca and what they’re doing more importantly to our audience. I really appreciate that. Okay folks, I hope you’ve enjoyed this conversation as much as I have. Again, big thanks to Pam Steele, founder and CEO at Pamela Steele Associates. Pam, so nice to meet you. And also Rebecca Albin, senior manager of Health Systems at Village Reach, Rebecca, so nice to meet you as well.

Rebecca Alban (41:27):

You as well. Very great to speak here.

Scott Luton (41:29):

Bet you bet, Jenny. Always a pleasure. But here, Jenny, as we start to sign off, it’s all about action. What are you doing? Not what are you saying? Not what conversations you’re part of. That’s important, but more importantly, it’s about action. So folks, to that end, I challenge you. Take one thing from Jenny or Pam or Rebecca and put it into action, right? Your teams are ready to do business different and think about the lives you can change as we pointed out here, right? So with that said, on behalf of all of our team here at Supply Chain now, Scott Luton challenge you to do good, to give forward and to be the change that’s needed. And we’ll see you next time, right back here at Supply Chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (42:07):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain now, community. Check out all of our programming@supplychainnow.com and make sure you subscribe to Supply Chain now, anywhere you listen to podcasts. And follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on Supply Chain. Now.

 

Featured Guests

Pamela Steele is a health supply chain expert from Kenya, specializing in improving access to medicines in Africa. Over 30 years, she has worked for several organizations including Oxfam, UNFPA, and UNICEF, and now leads her own supply chain consultancy, Pamela Steele Associates. Pam holds an MBA in Supply Chain Management from Leicester University and is a guest lecturer at several European universities. She is an executive committee member of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition and is a member of CIPS, CILT, and ASCM. Pam is a proponent of gender equality and recently began an initiative called ‘Girls on the Move’ to encourage more young women to work in the supply chain. Connect with Pamela on LinkedIn.

Rebecca Alban leads the health workforce development at VillageReach, an NGO focused on designing responsive primary health systems to improve health products and services’ accessibility to the hardest-to-reach communities. Rebecca has co-authored multiple research publications related to the role of CHWs as vaccinators and is an active participant on the Community Health Impact Coalition (CHIC). She has lived and worked in Africa, South America, the USA, and currently resides in Spain. Connect with Rebecca on LinkedIn.

Jenny Froome is passionate about how supply chain management affects our lives on every level.  Her original and now current profession is event management – the epitome of a well-honed supply chain.  After many years working as COO of SAPICS – the professional body of supply chain management in South Africa she realized the importance of shining the light on the supply chains of Africa.  Managing events such as the SAPICS annual conference, the People that Deliver Global Indaba, and the Africa Supply Chain Excellence Awards have truly allowed Jenny to combine her skills, knowledge, and community.  Jenny’s lived all over the world and has settled in South Africa with her husband and many 4 legged friends while her sons are scattered around the world. Connect with Jenny on LinkedIn. 

 

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.

He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics.  He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.

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Allison Giddens

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Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.

She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

Katherine Hintz, MBA is a marketing professional who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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Tandreia Bellamy

Host

Tandreia Bellamy retired as the Vice President of Industrial Engineering for UPS Supply Chain Solutions which included the Global Logistics, Global Freight Forwarding and UPS Freight business units. She was responsible for operations strategy and planning, asset management, forecasting, and technology tool development to optimize sustainable efficiency while driving world class service.

Tandreia held similar positions at the business unit level for Global Logistics and Global Freight forwarding. As the leader of the Global Logistics engineering function, she directed all industrial engineering activies related to distribution, service parts logistics (post-sales support), and mail innovations (low cost, light weight shipping partnership with the USPS). Between these roles Tandreia helped to establish the Advanced Technology Group which was formed to research and develop cutting edge solutions focused on reducing reliance on manual labor.

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Tandreia is currently a Director for the University of Central Florida (UCF) Foundation Board and also serves on their Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Previously Tandreia served on the Executive Advisory Board for Virginia Tech’s IE Department and the Association for Supply Chain Management. She served on the Board of Trustees for ChildServ (a Chicago child and family services non-profit) and also served on the Texas A&M and Tuskegee Engineering Advisory Boards. In 2006 she was named Business Advisor of the Year by INROADS, in 2009 she was recognized as a Technology All-Star at the Women of Color in STEM conference and in 2019 she honored as a UCF Distinguished Aluma by the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems.

Tandreia holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems from UCF. Her greatest accomplishment, however, is being the proud mother of two college students, Ruby (24) and Anthony (22).

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Marty Parker

Host

Marty Parker serves as both the CEO & Founder of Adæpt Advising and an award-winning Senior Lecturer (Teaching Professor) in Supply Chain and Operations Management at the University of Georgia. He has 30 years of experience as a COO, CMO, CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), VP of Operations, VP of Marketing and Process Engineer. He founded and leads UGA’s Supply Chain Advisory Board, serves as the Academic Director of UGA’s Leaders Academy, and serves on multiple company advisory boards including the Trucking Profitability Strategies Conference, Zion Solutions Group and Carlton Creative Company.

Marty enjoys helping people and companies be successful. Through UGA, Marty is passionate about his students, helping them network and find internships and jobs. He does this through several hundred one-on-one zoom meetings each year with his students and former students. Through Adæpt Advising, Marty has organized an excellent team of affiliates that he works with to help companies grow and succeed. He does this by helping c-suite executives improve their skills, develop better leaders, engage their workforce, improve processes, and develop strategic plans with detailed action steps and financial targets. Marty believes that excellence in supply chain management comes from the understanding the intersection of leadership, culture, and technology, working across all parts of the organization to meet customer needs, maximize profit and minimize costs.

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

Laura Lopez serves as our Supply Chain Now Marketing Coordinator. She graduated from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente in Mexico with a degree in marketing. Laura loves everything digital because she sees the potential it holds for companies in the marketing industry. Her passion for creativity and thinking outside the box led her to pursue a career in marketing. With experience in fields like accounting, digital marketing, and restaurants, she clearly enjoys taking on challenges. Laura lives the best of both worlds - you'll either catch her hanging out with her friends soaking up the sun in Mexico or flying out to visit her family in California!

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Jake Barr

Host

An acknowledged industry leader, Jake Barr now serves as CEO for BlueWorld Supply Chain Consulting, providing support to a cross section of Fortune 500 companies such as Cargill, Caterpillar, Colgate, Dow/Dupont, Firmenich, 3M, Merck, Bayer/Monsanto, Newell Brands, Kimberly Clark, Nestle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Sanofi, Estee Lauder and Coty among others. He's also devoted time to engagements in public health sector work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At P&G, he managed the breakthrough delivery of an E2E (End to End) Planning Transformation effort, creating control towers which now manage the daily business globally. He is recognized as the architect for P&G’s demand driven supply chain strategy – referenced as a “Consumer Driven Supply Chain” transformation. Jake began his career with P&G in Finance in Risk Analysis and then moved into Operations. He has experience in building supply network capability globally through leadership assignments in Asia, Latin America, North America and the Middle East. He currently serves as a Research Associate for MIT; a member of Supply Chain Industry Advisory Council; Member of Gartner’s Supply Chain Think Tank; Consumer Goods “League of Leaders“; and a recipient of the 2015 - 2021 Supply Chain “Pro’s to Know” Award. He has been recognized as a University of Kentucky Fellow.

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Marcia Williams

Host

Marcia Williams, Managing Partner of USM Supply Chain, has 18 years of experience in Supply Chain, with expertise in optimizing Supply Chain-Finance Planning (S&OP/ IBP) at Large Fast-Growing CPGs for greater profitability and improved cash flows. Marcia has helped mid-sized and large companies including Lindt Chocolates, Hershey, and Coty. She holds an MBA from Michigan State University and a degree in Accounting from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay (South America). Marcia is also a Forbes Council Contributor based out of New York, and author of the book series Supply Chains with Maria in storytelling style. A recent speaker’s engagement is Marcia TEDx Talk: TEDxMSU - How Supply Chain Impacts You: A Transformational Journey.

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Luisa Garcia is a passionate Marketer from Lagos de Moreno based in Aguascalientes. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico. She specializes in brand development at any stage, believing that a brand is more than just a name or image—it’s an unforgettable experience. Her expertise helps brands achieve their dreams and aspirations, making a lasting impact. Currently working at Vector Global Logistics in the Marketing team and as podcast coordinator of Logistics With Purpose®. Luisa believes that purpose-driven decisions will impact results that make a difference in the world.

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Astrid Aubert was born in Guadalajara, she is 39 years old and has had the opportunity to live in many places. She studied communication and her professional career has been in Trade Marketing for global companies such as Pepsico and Mars. She currently works as Marketing Director Mexico for Vector Global Logistics. She is responsible for internal communications and marketing strategy development for the logistics industry. She is a mother of two girls, married and lives in Monterrey. She defines herself as a creative and innovative person, and enjoys traveling and cooking a lot.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host

Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey University, class 2019. Upon graduation she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (GCLOG) and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Former Data Analyst within the airport industry in Latin America at Pacific Airport Group, performing benchmarking reports and predictive analysis of future market behavior.

Currently working as Sr. Staffing Analyst within the S&OP team in Mexico at the biggest ecommerce company in Latin America: Mercado Libre. Responsible for workforce forecasting and planning through the analysis of demand, productivity, capacity, cost & time constraints. Sofia self identifies as Supply Chain Ambassador, sharing her passion for the field in her daily life. She has been recognized as upcoming thought leader in the field and invited to participate in several podcasts (Freight Path Podcast, Supply Chain Revolution Podcast, Let’s Talk Supply Chain, Industrificados) to discuss topics such as digital transformation, automation and future skillsets for supply chain professionals.

She is a frequent featured guest at Supply Chain Now and appointed co-host for their new series Supply Chain Now en Español. Global Ambassador for ISCEAs Sustainable Supply Chain Professional Certification (CSSCP) and keynote speaker at World Supply Chain Forum 2021 by ISCEA Indonesia.

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Karin Bursa

Host

Karin Bursa is the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year and the Host of the TEKTOK Digital Supply Chain Podcast powered by Supply Chain Now. With more than 25 years of supply chain and technology expertise (and the scars to prove it), Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and share their success stories. Today, she helps B2B technology companies introduce new products, capture customer success and grow global revenue, market share and profitability. In addition to her recognition as the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year, Karin has also been recognized as a 2019 and 2018 Supply Chain Pro to Know, 2009 Technology Marketing Executive of the Year and a 2008 Women in Technology Finalist. 

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Vin Vashishta

Host

Vin Vashishta is the author of ‘From Data To Profit’ (Wiley 2023). It’s the playbook for monetizing data and AI. Vin is the Founder of V-Squared and built the business from client 1 to one of the world’s oldest data and AI consulting firms. His background combines nearly 30 years in strategy, leadership, software engineering, and applied machine learning.

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.

From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.

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Greg White

Principal & Host

When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.

Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.

Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.

When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog.  He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community.  Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include CiscoMicrosoft, Citrix and IBM.  Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane UniversityO’Reilly MediaLinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight.  Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems EngineeringCarrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.

He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Constantine Limberakis

Host

Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research.Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.

Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.

Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

Mary Kate Love is currently the VP of marketing at Supply Chain Now focused on brand strategy and audience + revenue growth. Mary Kate’s career is a testament to her versatility and innovative spirit: she has experience in start-ups, venture capital, and building innovation initiatives from the ground up: she previously helped lead the build-out of the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific and before that, MxD (Manufacturing times Digital): the Department of Defense’s digital manufacturing innovation center. Mary Kate has a passion for taking complicated ideas and turning them into reality: she was one of the first team members at MxD and the first team member at the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific.

Mary Kate dedicates her extra time to education and mentorship: she was one of the founding Board Members for Women Influence Chicago and led an initiative for a city-wide job shadow day for young women across Chicago tech companies and was previously on the Board of Directors at St. Laurence High School in Chicago, Young Irish Fellowship Board and the UN Committee for Women. Mary Kate is the founder of National Supply Chain Day and enjoys co-hosting podcasts at Supply Chain Now. Mary Kate is from the south side of Chicago, a mom of two baby boys, and an avid 16-inch softball player. She holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more.  In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys.  She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.

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Vicki White

Controller

Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.

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