Equity among the male-dominant supply chain workforce needs to change. In the United States, women hold 39% of supply chain positions and only 14% of upper management and chief-level positions.1 In a time where we have more technology at our disposal than ever before to solve complex challenges, new strategies and leaders need to emerge to wield these tools. Women leaders could very well be the untapped resource and advantage many businesses need.
To support the empowerment of women, HighJump hosted the third-annual Women Leaders in Supply Chain (WLSC) Luncheon at its Elevate user conference. Körber Supply Chain CEO Chad Collins opened the event by sharing his vision for how women equity in the industry can only lead to great things.
“Every year, our WLSC luncheon gets bigger, and that must mean something,” said Collins. “People are becoming more open. People are becoming more aware of the power of equity in our industry. It only makes sense that women should play a big part in conquering supply chain complexity. We need new ideas, mindsets, and approaches to uplift an industry that thrives on innovation.”
WLSC also hosted its first keynote speaker, Julian Guthrie. She offered amazing stories of women leadership, challenges, and how to ultimately thrive in a tough, male-dominant industry.
Julian is a best-selling author, keynote speaker and journalist. She is the author of three books, including two national best sellers. Her latest book, Alpha Girls, is the untold story of pioneering women in Silicon Valley. Described as Hidden Figures meets The Social Network, Alpha Girls – released in 2019 - is the story of the real unicorns of Silicon Valley. The women who bucked the system and found ways to survive and thrive in the cutthroat, high-stakes, male-dominated world of Silicon Valley.
Women of the Year Awards
Capping off the luncheon, attendees gathered to celebrate five outstanding women and 15 total nominees for the Top Women Leaders in Supply Chain award. This distinction given to honorees comes as a result of exemplary leadership, innovation, and dedication in the supply chain community.
This year’s five WLSC award recipients were given to:
Marlene Breakey - vice president of distribution technologies, Kenco Logistics
As a VP of the largest woman-owned 3PL company in North America, Marlene matches the IT needs of the business to seamlessly align with overall business drivers. This allows Kenco to meet the ever-changing and challenging needs of the 3PL industry.
Karen Leavitt - chief marketing officer, Locus Robotics
Locus has grown significantly due in large part to Karen’s vision as the marketing leader and face of Locus over the past several years. Her evangelism of autonomous mobile robotics lifts her organization and the robotics community overall.
Kim Marlow - director of distribution systems and Process, SanMar
Kim is responsible for the strategic framework, planning, and execution of distribution systems across a complex network of nine distribution centers. Her contributions and forward-thinking have revolutionized distribution and logistics for SanMar.
Lori Pike - chief technology officer, Honeywell Voice
For 25 years, Lori’s contributions to software development at Honeywell has ensured its customers’ success. Her leadership in software engineering and passion for problem solving is the gold standard for women seeking opportunities in STEM-related fields.
Melonee Wise - Founder & CEO, Fetch Robotics
Melonee is instrumental to the autonomous mobile robotics evolution of commercial service robotics. Her contributions have transformed the way supply chains operate through her work in developing easy-to-use, highly functional, and flexible autonomous mobile robotics.
“The WLSC event always has an energy that gets me out of my seat,” said Bill Ryan, North America CEO of Körber Supply Chain's Software Business Unit. “This is one of the most inspiring and uplifting events at Elevate every year. I’m humbled and honored to work with and alongside these amazing professionals.”
At the luncheon, HighJump recognized all nominees for this year’s WLSC award, including:
- J.J. Barnes, enVista
- Charley Fisk, Adore Beauty
- Joanne Gulnac, HighJump
- Christine Hirtz, HighJump
- Kaitlin Peterson, HighJump
- Veronika Simekova, Balloon One
- Angie Strouth, HighJump
- Doris Silva, HighJump
- Kelly Woodsum, Körber
- Linney Young, Veridian
The HighJump Elevate user conference was held March 2-5, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. Elevate brings together hundreds of supply chain professionals around the world to learn more about the solutions and professional services offered by Körber Supply Chain, its subsidiaries, and its partner network.
In addition to the WLSC awards, HighJump also recognized the partners of the year and awarded three customers with the Elevation Award for conquering complex supply chain challenges.