It is no surprise that many people in the logistics industry have labeled it a “Gentleman’s Club.” As outlined in the Morai Logistics Infographic focusing on women in the logistics industry, compared to other industries women still have some room to catch up at all levels in the logistics and supply chain industry.

For example, 35% of logistics graduates are women. Compared to other business graduates in general (of which there are about 45% female graduates), the logistics industry has the highest percentage of male graduates in the industry. Within the professional sphere, women take up less than 20% of company management position despite two-thirds of professionals believing that women offer a different style of management that is viewed as an advantage for companies.

Eye for Transport’ Lean-In Moment: Women in Logistics

Eye for Transport, or EFT, is a business intelligence and C-level networking initiative for the transport, logistics and supply chain industry. It is an organization that specializes in connecting senior industry executives with their industry peers, and with the crucial information they need to excel in their work. They have an annual Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Summit that the President of Morai Logistics was invited to. Kelli Saunders sat on a panel along with 5 other C-level women in the logistics and supply chain industry to discuss their path that got them to where they are today.

Kelli Saunders, President of Morai Logistics, speaking on her journey to becoming President
Kelli Saunders, President of Morai Logistics, speaking on her journey to becoming President
 
 
The efforts that Eye for Transport has taken in showing initiative to create an awareness about the gender gap for executives in the logistics and supply chain industry is commendable. The women in the Lean In series were both inspiring and an example of how women can be a readily able pool of candidates for all levels of position across the entire logistics and supply chain industry. They are great examples of why we should continue our efforts to introduce the notion that logistics is not just a “Gentleman’s Club.”

To see Eye for Transport’s full breakdown of the Lean In Moment on women in logistics, click here: Part 1, Part 2.

That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news!

Today we have created an infographic to shed light into what supplier diversity is and to highlight some quick facts about how the women-owned and other minority-owned businesses have been progressing in the recent years. We also cover the spending trends with regards to the investment of companies into supplier diversity programs.

The benefits of supplier diversity go beyond the “social good.” We are now at an age where companies are starting to find that supplier diversity programs can be fiscally beneficial. A study from the Hackett Group showed that companies that “focus heavily on supplier diversity” generated a 133% greater ROI when it comes to procurement than the typical business. And this is just the beginning, scroll down to see more facts about supplier diversity.

Supplier Diversity and the Logistics Industry

Morai-Logistics-Infographic-Supplier-Diversity

That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news!

International Women’s Day happened on the 8th of this month and we thought we would contribute a belated infographic for this week’s blog post. The logistics industry is notoriously known for being a Gentleman’s Club consisting of a primarily male workforce. Though that still exists today, companies have taken steps to balance the gender discrepancy in the workforce and women are slowly starting join logistics and supply chain companies at all levels.

The Status of Women in the Logistics Industry

Morai-Logistics-Infographic-The-Status-of-Women-in-the-Logistics-Industry

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That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news!

Source: WEConnect Canada
Source: WEConnect Canada
On our last blog post, we wrote about the WeConnect Canada’s Opening Doors conference. WeConnect Canada distributes the Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) certification for majority owned, and controlled women’s businesses. The conference is about how certifications such as the WBE is a great strategy for creating opportunities to provide a competitive edge for bidding on corporate contracts as part of supplier diversity programs.

But what is supplier diverstiy? According to WeConnect Canada:

Supplier diversity is all about building relationships and trust to enable business opportunities between corporations and historically under-utilized groups, like women business owners.

In essence, Supplier Diversity programs were creative to give minorities an opportunity to secure contracts with government agencies, major companies and corporations as qualified small business owners. This has come about a reaction to minority and women owned businesses being classified as under-utilized small business owners in order to promote balance and diversity for participating organizations.

In the United States, the Supplier Diversity program was conceptualized in 1953 along with the establishment of the Small Business Administration. The federal government’s efforts to create opportunities for often underrepresented small businesses was a natural segway into providing those same opportunities for minority groups, such as women-owned businesses.

These days a majority of large companies are indeed looking into how to incorporate minority-owned businesses into their partnership agreement and this is especially the case in the logistics and supply chain industry. The biggest challenge is discovery; large corporations have trouble identifying women-owned businesses. Hence the creation of certifying networking organizations such as WEConnect.

These types of certifications allow large corporation to find these companies and take advantage of the following benefits:

A Ready and Capable Force to be Reckoned With

Women-owned businesses are an untapped force to be reckoned with. There are 6.5 million majority women-owned businesses in the United States, employing 7.1 million people according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Large corporations agree that there is a strong business case for investing in women; a recent McKinsey & Company survey results showed that 35% of senior executives reported efforts to empower women in emerging markets led to increased profits with an additional 38% reporting an increase in profits in the future. This is even more emphasized in the world of logistics, a well known gentleman’s club but is slowly changing due to the benefits that partnering with diversity suppliers can provide, which brings us to our next point:

Unique Opportunities from Unique Expertise

Businesses that are primarily female-owned are often noted for their ability to have a unique view of the industry and can offer a fresh take on not just the ideas involved in the process but the along every step along the business process. Traditionally only seen in the service sector, women-owned enterprises are now in many specialized industries such as manufacturing, construction, and other industrial fields. This is evident in the efforts that large corporations like Cisco are taking steps into providing the most sustainable means to empower women through supplier diversity and inclusion.

And that’s all for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news! To find out more about WEConnect and getting certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), visit their site at www.weconnectcanada.org

BONUS: Check out Inc.com’s Top 10 Women-run Companies!

Source: WEConnect Canada
Source: WEConnect Canada

This past week, a few members from the Morai Logistics team proudly attended the 5th annual Opening Doors National Conference in Toronto. Hosted by WEConnect Canada, I attended as an observant in support of Morai Logistics where I got to hear the president of the company, Kelli Saunders, during the WBE (Women’s Business Enterprise) Success Stories session. For this week’s post I will be guest blogging on my experience and to give our readers an inside look into WEConnect Canada’s annual conference as well as some takeaways from the WBE Success Stories session.

WEConnect Canada is an organization that certifies majority owned women’s business and facilitates opportunities for those businesses to meet buyers and get access to bids for corporate contacts as part of supplier diversity programs. Their mission is to:

…[advance] the success of certified women business enterprises and corporate members to drive economic growth and prosperity through supplier diversity.

First Impressions

As I walked into the Hyatt Regency in Toronto to check into the conference, I already saw members in the lobby openly conversing. I went up the escalator to where the actual conference was taking place and noticed an overwhelming feeling of openness and support. Everyone I ran into at the conference was both welcoming and friendly, regardless of whether or not they were attendees, speakers, or organizers of the event.

But I also noticed a sense of empowerment; there was a sense of camaraderie not usually present in networking conferences I’ve been to in the past. As I entered the conference hall I saw Kelli Saunders, the president of Morai Logistics sit down at the front of the room along with Marty Britton of Britton Management Profiles and Marla Kott of Imprint Plus. I picked a seat near the front and listened to them talk. My takeaway is as follows…

Diversity Supplier: More Than Being the Sprinkles to the Cupcake

Kelli Saunders WEConnect Opening Doors Conference
Kelli Saunders on the Importance of Supplier Diversity

All three of the women offered some sage advice both for people who have already established and successful businesses as well as for those who are just starting out their entrepreneurial pursuit. The experiences that these women have shared were not only valuable, but also eye-opening to those who have been wondering about how businesses can take off and the importance of a good network.

Mary Britton spoke of the importance of knowing how to work in your business as opposed to working on your busines. As someone who’d seen her company take off and really grow, Mary had to learn how to trust her team and to allow herself to focus on the expansion of her business. She also made a really important point keeping a company lean and not to fear outsourcing. Marla Kott on the other hand, spoke of learning a company’s ecosystem if you ever intend to work together with them. This can make streamlining and cooperation between two companies run more smoothly.

Kelli Saunders spoke of the importance of networking; making connections is the way to get your foot in the door for future clientele. She also emphasized the importance of mentorship and joining organizations like WEConnect so that you can get that foot in the door.

But the most important point that all three speakers bestowed upon the audience that day was the fact that as a business owner, you have to be aware of the tools that are present to you. One of the most important tools for women-owned businesses is certification of supplier diversity. Morai Logistics is part of WEConnect as a certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE). This is important as this certification is the only Canadian certification of women-owned businesses and critical to maintaining supplier diversity for companies – something that can be appealing for companies in the logistics and supply chain industry who want to actively promote supplier diversity in their network of partners and clients.

All three women that spoke noted the importance of WEConnect’s WBE certification as something that greatly facilitated their business growth. But the important thing to note is that a certification should not be solely relied upon. As Kelli Saunders, put it:

In the cupcake that is your business, where the cupcake and the frosting are your performance and your team, having a diversity supplier certification is just the sprinkles. You still need to have an excellent cupcake that should stand out more than anything else, the sprinkles are just the bonus that entices the buyer from making that final decision between your cupcake and someone else’s.

Thanks for reading my guest blog post! If you are interested in how Morai Logistics can take the chaos out of your supply chain, check out their services section! If you want to stay updated on their content, why check out the rest of their blog or follow them on Twitter at @MoraiLogistics!