In 2023, 26% of executive level positions in the supply chain were held by women, with women representing 41% of the industry workforce overall, according to Gartner. Both figures show an increase from 2022, which is a promising sign that women are gaining representation and influence within the supply chain industry. However, there is still work to be done.
“This forum was designed to provide that safe space to talk about the real problems and challenges impacting females across the logistics space,” said Marina Mayer, editor-in-chief of Food Logistics and Supply & Demand Chain Executive.
In addition to the standard agenda, recipients of the 2023 Women in Supply Chain Awards were also recognized at the forum. This award honors women who excel in their own career while also championing other female supply chain professionals.
Meet Trailer Bridge’s 2023 Women in Supply Chain Winners
Trailer Bridge is proud to boast two winners of the 2023 Women in Supply Chain Award: Employee Engagement & Training Specialist, Becky Simon and Logistics Sales & Operations Team Lead, Amanda Richterkraft. With two very different backgrounds, their recognition just goes to show the value of women leadership across all facets of the logistics industry.
Specializing in training and employee engagement, Becky works behind the scenes supporting the development of both industry veterans and the next generation of logistics professionals. Her role includes co-leading our in-person new employee onboarding, assisting Trailer Bridge’s subject matter experts in creating educational materials, teaching colleagues public speaking skills in TB Talks, and much more. She approaches her work with infectious enthusiasm and truly loves helping others grow in the industry so they can meet the evolving needs of today’s shipper.
“Being a woman in this industry is a bit of a superpower because we are so under-represented. Don’t question your value or feel insecure because you deserve a seat at the table.”
As a Logistics Sales & Operations Team Lead, Amanda Richterkraft is on the front lines working directly with Trailer Bridge’s carriers and customers to keep their supply chains moving. Her exceptional customer service earns her glowing reviews from those who work with her. A recent DAT review praised Amanda saying, “I have formed a genuine relationship with her where I believe she listens to us and understands our position as a carrier.”
Amanda also lends her experience in logistics to help her team of seven succeed by sharing best practices for moving freight and serving their customers. With her support, one of her team members was even promoted to a leadership position himself.
“A lot of women feel that they can’t go after things because of preconceived and often wrong ideals in this industry. You can take the leap and go for what’s out there. Don’t let how other people feel stop you from being a rock star!”
Prioritizing People to Make Progress
As suggested by this year’s theme, “Better Together: How Collaboration Promotes Women in Supply Chain,” the forum’s discussion was centered around ways that women can champion themselves and each other in the industry. Instead of the solution being industry-focused, it was focused on personal growth and building relationships.
It starts with the individual.
Keynote speaker Katie Date, SVP of Industry Relations & Strategic Initiatives at Manifest, urged women to have the confidence to “go for the money” (know their worth) and know that they deserve a seat at the table. Erez Agmoni, Global Head of Innovation at Maersk, echoed this sentiment, sharing that it is important to have women in the room when decisions are being made because they offer a different perspective. Being authentic and intentional in your actions were two other pieces of advice offered.
But the real change happens when women work together to create an industry environment that supports equity for all.
Lisa Henshaw, VP of Human Resources at DAT Freight and Analytics discussed the difference between equality and equity – equality provides everyone with the same resources while equity recognizes the differing needs of each individual and provides the resources needed for an equal outcome.
Mentorship, allyship and sponsorship are three primary strategies women can use to build equity and find their tribe of supporters. Katie Date broke down the three in her Art of Mentorship workshop:
- Mentorship is a 1:1 relationship where the mentor gets to know the mentee and helps to guide them through their career.
- Sponsorship goes beyond the 1:1 mentorship model by having someone at a higher level make introductions for a colleague earlier in their career to increase their opportunities for growth.
- Allyship is a relationship between many and ties people together as a community.
After all, it’s not about who you know, it’s about who knows you. So, it’s ok to be uncomfortable as long as you take the leap to build these essential connections.
Here are the top takeaways from the Trailer Bridge women who attended the forum:
Whitney Croxton, Vice President of Marketing & Communication: Relationships matter and we must be intentional about building them. Also, as a leader it is my responsibility to create and support an environment that supports and uplifts those around me.
Ann Phelps, Vice President of Customer Experience: Put yourself out there – no one will know who you are if you don’t. Be intentional, know your worth.
Becky Simon, Employee Engagement & Training Specialist: Connections matter! The industry is small – don’t ever burn bridges. Building your network and having sponsorship from other professionals is paramount.
Amanda Richterkraft, Logistics Sales & Operations Team Lead: Know your worth! Don’t let imposter syndrome take over what you’re doing. We belong in this industry, and we shouldn’t feel differently.
Do you want to bring your talents to the supply chain table? Visit Trailer Bridge’s careers page to see all our career opportunities.