Nearly half (46.6% of the workforce) in the United States is female but women were paid 22.1% less on average than men in 2021 (after controlling for race and ethnicity, education, age, and geographic division). The issues behind this startling disparity are complex and they are enduring. In fact, there has been little progress in the last three decades.
Equal pay pressure groups are doing great things across the US, but this is a battle that must be fought by all business leaders, and that includes procurement and supply chain.
Here are some valuable, effective and actionable ways to empower women across the supply chain.
Create the right workplace culture
It’s become rather a trite phrase but the tone really does come from the top. Here are some ways to promote a workplace culture that empowers women.
Work with female-owned or managed businesses
Business leaders have a responsibility to promote diversity and equality within their firms. But it is also critical to the equal pay movement to seek out and work with female-owned and/or managed businesses. Less than 1% of global corporate or government spend is invested in women-owned businesses, but that’s not due to a lack of available options. 224 million women own 35% of firms across the globe. By choosing to work with these entrepreneurs, procurement and supply chain leaders can play a vital role in empowering women and accelerating the growth of business as well as the wider economy.
This approach provides significant benefits for the companies, too. In fact, a report by The Women4Business Daring Circle revealed that 34% of companies that diversified their suppliers by engaging with women owned businesses reported a positive impact on profibility.
If you are already working with female-owned businesses check if any are led by women from ethnic minorities or underrepresented groups. If not, set yourself targets and start researching.
Don’t work with companies that have poor human rights records
No doubt you already have checks and procedures in place to make sure you only work with ethical businesses and suppliers. It is worth revisiting any audits or supplier lists you have to make sure they are 100% committed to empowering women in the supply chain and that they do not invest or deal with companies that violate women’s rights and wellbeing.
Make sure you have a comprehensive understanding of who you are working with, and the companies those clients and suppliers are choosing to work with. Raise awareness among your supply chain about empowering women, working with female-owned businesses and boycotting suppliers with poor human rights records. Spreading the word is vital.
Attract and promote women in supply chain roles
You won’t get far in empowering women in supply chain if you don’t attract and retain the top talent. Dana Stiffler, Vice President at Gartner Inc surveyed more than 150 supply chain professionals to discover the best ways to attract women and support them in career advancement. You can see the findings in the table below.
If you want to find out more about attracting the top female or male procurement and supply chain talent to your business, contact the team at Bramwith today. We work with the best procurement and supply chain candidates in the United States and would love to help you diversify and strengthen your team.
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