Being bold for change in 2017

Career developmentLeadership Staff developmentTalent and Leadership+-

Today is International Women’s Day (IWD) and the global campaign is encouraging us all to #BeBoldForChange and take responsibility for creating a more gender-equal world. In support of the campaign, I wanted to share some of the actions we are taking here at Procurement Leaders to help inspire and support leaders, rising stars, and promote diversity within the procurement profession.

Women Procurement Leaders (WPL)


For the past year, our Women in Procurement initiative has been championing increased gender diversity within the function.


The initiative was born out of a passion to change the disappointing proportion of women in the profession. Recent research showing that just 37% of students on supply chain courses at universities and an even lower 14% of CPOs are female have inspired us to try and drive change.


Member companies including Johnson & Johnson, British American Tobacco, Vodafone, Clorox and UCB, among others, have imparted their experiences and insights. From CPO dinners to mentoring and development workshops, our Women in Procurement events have provided a platform for diverse perspectives. We have:

  • Celebrated the pioneering female leaders in our community and delivered resources and toolkits to directly support talent development.
  • Documented the success stories that women in procurement have achieved.
  • Explored and debated the key themes shared by our community, including nurturing emerging talent, challenging conscious and unconscious biases, and propelling more women onto the CPO track; ideas that both men and women alike have welcomed.

Today I’m excited to announce the next step in our journey. We are rebranding as Women Procurement Leaders. This new name reflects the fact that we, as a community, can inspire and empower more female leaders of today and tomorrow, and support existing leaders in the function to be the best they can be.


Mentoring Scheme


In addition, we piloted a mentoring scheme with a subset of our membership community. Participants have found it compelling to share advice within the function, experiencing meaningful conversations with actionable next steps. Both mentors and mentees have reaped the benefits. Today we are happy to announce that we are rolling out the Women Procurement Leaders’ Mentoring Scheme to the larger membership network and we invite you all to get involved.


How are we bold for change at Procurement Leaders?


Since joining Procurement Leaders, I have been passionate about leading by example and ensuring we present more equal representation across speakers at our events, on our global Advisory Board, and the internal composition of our organisation. We now have five female members on our 14-person Advisory board and at 2017’s Americas Congress in Miami next week, women will make up 33% of the speaker line-up which is a considerable inflection from this time last year. I am honoured to announce that having taken the helm as CEO of Procurement Leaders with the full backing of our Founders, I will continue to drive equality within our company and the wider procurement profession.


Reporting the progress we have made in the last year fills me with great pride and confidence, but there is still much work to do. This is a marathon, not a sprint. As a community, we are confident that we can win the race.


I challenge you to also share your story and #BeBoldForChange as an individual, in your team, organisation and within your profession.


Nandini Basuthakur


CEO, Procurement Leaders


Find out more about WPL here

Nandini Basuthakur
Posted by Nandini Basuthakur

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