Supply chain professionals in Australia are grappling with a challenge that will sound familiar to logistics professionals on any continent—finding and developing the work force of the future.
To help create a pipeline of supply chain talent, educators at Melbourne's Deakin University have collaborated with some of the country's best-known freight and consumer brands to launch a program that targets a group that's been historically underrepresented in the field: women. The venture, which is being led by Deakin's Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics, aims to address a workplace gender gap that sees some supply chain companies where less than one in 10 employees are women and that has a gender pay gap of 21.8 percent.
Funded by 13 corporate sponsors, the "Wayfinder: Supply Chain Careers for Women" initiative is a three-year project to bring new talent into the supply chain industry. As part of that push, organizers will hold a series of luncheons that connect women and girls across the community with inspirational women working in the industry as well as establish a program of research and graduate pathways to connect women with career opportunities, according to the center's director, Hermione Parsons.
"New talent and skills are desperately needed, but currently we're only accessing 50 percent of the talent," Parsons said. "Ultimately, supply chain has an image problem. We must change how the community sees supply chain and understands its enormous significance to the national economy if we're going to turn around a rapidly aging and male-dominated work force."