How Diverse Is Your Supply Chain?

01 December 2021

The stats speak for themselves. Logistics and supply chain are still male dominated. A recent survey by Gartner found that women comprise 41 percent of the supply chain workforce in 2021, up from 39 percent in 2020. The numbers don’t look too good at the top either. Women account for 15 percent of executive level roles, a 2 percent drop from 17 percent in 2020. There are approximately nine males for every one female in executive supply chain management roles.

Supply Chain Diversity

Ajilon, a leader in recruitment in Supply Chain & Logistics found that just 5 percent of top-level supply chain positions at Fortune 500 companies are filled by women, compared to 15 percent of executive officer positions at the same organizations.

This lack of diversity cuts across professions and the pattern is the same when looking at women in the supply chain. In a 2019 research report, Quantamental Research found that there is a male-to-female ratio of 19:1 for CEOs among companies within the Russell 3000 Index. And the fact remains that there are more male CEOs named John, than female CEOs! The PwC’s 2021 Executive directors report found that only 13 percent of South Africa’s executive directors are women.

Read: #ChangePays: There Were More Male CEOs Named John than Female CEOs

Female truck driver
Image by Aleksandarlittlewolf -

The logistics sector has consistently been associated with physical work and, as a result, regarded as a masculine. But the lack of diversity within the logistics industry does not solely pertain to the lack of female employees, but rather the lack of career opportunities and by consequence increased attrition of midcareer women. It is also not surprising that women would have less experience in the sector than their male counterparts.



This is all notwithstanding the fact that having more women in leadership roles drives innovation and is good for the bottom line. According to Catalyst, Fortune 500 businesses companies with the highest representation of women in leadership positions had a 35 percent higher return on equity and a 34 percent higher return to shareholders than those with the lowest. Yet there are still huge gender disparities. The Covid-19 pandemic adds fuel to the fire. Senior-level woman are 1.5 times more likely than senior-level men to think about downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce because of Covid-19 according to McKinsey & Company. Companies risk losing untapped potential of women leadership.

Read: Women in the Workplace

More than ever the time to act decisively for better workplace is now. Adding more women in the candidate pool and hiring roles considerably reduces unconscious bias and leads to an increase of woman in the logistics and supply chain field. This coupled with well-articulated diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives focused on women will transform the sector and help women climb the logistics and supply chain ladder. 

Create opportunities for success for women in your organization by enrolling them in one of our accredited supply chain and logistics management courses.

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