More than 150 women and men gather at tables chatting. They work in oil and gas, at communications cable companies, or for airlines and railways. While their jobs are all very different, they all have one thing in common—their businesses depend on supply chain and logistics. And they’re here to celebrate women who have made their career in the field.
The Calgary-based Van Horne Institute—an organization with an international mandate to lead in public policy, education, and research in transportation, supply chain, and logistics—has launched Women in Supply Chain (WISC) to encourage and support exciting career opportunities.
The program began four years ago as an effort to bring together women and men in the industry as part of a larger human resources strategy to increase knowledge of supply chain and logistics management within industry, post-secondary institutions, and government. Through this program, the Van Horne Institute has developed a network of over 700 individuals and hosted a number of networking events including a dinner series, receptions, and conferences, one of which will be held on June 16 & 17, 2016.
“WISC has allowed me the opportunity to meet and network with like-minded people as well as those that I inspire to be like,” says Michelle Watson, Office and Operations Manager at Cert Logistics, WISC Committee Co-Chair. “I have also been able to benefit from the information, motivation, and inspiration given at each of the conferences and events that I have attended.”
Women in Supply Chain has showcased a number of leading women in the fields of supply chain, logistics and transportation including Janice Davis, Senior Vice President, Supply Chain at Shaw Communications Inc.; Maria Lindenberg, Chief Procurement Officer and Vice President, Chevron Corporation; Trudy Fahie, President & CEO Walmart Canada Bank & EVP Financial Services; Brigid Pelino, Former Executive Vice-President, People and Culture, WestJet; and Gianna Manes, President and Chief Executive Officer, ENMAX.
“Following on the success of the Women in Supply Chain dinners and receptions, we figured that it was time for another conference. Our committee has worked very hard at bringing together a first-class lineup of speakers for our upcoming Women in Supply Chain conference,” said Bryndis Whitson, Manager, Strategic Development and Member Relations, Van Horne Institute.
And what a lineup it is! Keynote speakers include Mary Traversy, COO, Canada Post; Kelly Platt, General Manager, Western Star; Lesley Smith, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain, Wal-Mart China; Vineeta Maguire, VP, Supply Management Services, Encana and Karen Hamberg, Vice-President, Strategy, Westport Innovations.
“We are really looking forward to an excellent conference,” said Cindy Clark, Dealer Principal, Sterling Western Star Trucks, and WISC Committee Co-Chair. “WISC has been an opportunity to bring men and women together to learn about, share, and grow in the supply chain, logistics, and transportation industry. It has informed people to realize the scope of opportunities for careers and growth. It has allowed women to see the value of their role and the long-term opportunities to explore a multitude of personal and professional successes.
“It recognizes that individuals in all levels and positions are critical to the overall success of the supply chain industry and how their interactions will design a strong diversified industry locally, nationally, and internationally. What makes participating in WISC vibrant is more people learn how valuable this industry is.”
The Van Horne Institute has continued with the success of WISC to create additional programs and research that the industry is asking for. From Youth in Supply Chain (YISC), which introduced 40 youths to the supply chain sector and provided them with employment opportunities, to Building Inclusive Workplaces (BIW), which has created a Corporate Change Model for organizations to use when building a diverse team. The BIW initiative brought together keynote speakers from the RCMP, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), and Xerox.
These initiatives have been supported by the Van Horne Institute’s diverse membership. If you would like to learn more about the Van Horne Institute, you can go to: www.vanhorne.info. For more information about WISC, including videos of the speeches from past dinner speakers’ please visit www.womeninsupplychain.org.
What’s next for Women in Supply Chain and the Van Horne Institute? Each story has a journey and the WISC team has decided to build on their successes and continue to refine what has been a path of discovery.
The Van Horne Institute is recognized within Canada and internationally as a leading institute of public policy, education, and research in transportation, supply chain and logistics, and regulated industries.
The Van Horne Institute assists industry, government, and the public in addressing issues affecting transportation, supply chain management and logistics and regulated industries that are relevant to the well-being and growth of industry and commerce.
Efficient and low-cost supply chain and logistics services are essential to both industry and the public in our geographically large country, so the evolution of sound industrial strategy, public policy, and progressive legislation and regulations are increasing in importance as business moves further towards globalization. Industry needs to be innovative to compete. One of the key success drivers for the Institute is the development of the Canadian Centre for Advanced Supply Chain Management and Logistics.
The Van Horne Institute
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