AWESOME is a ground-breaking industry-wide initiative that brings together leading professionals and educators in logistics and supply chain management to provide networking, collaboration, career experiences, and development that identify, expand, and bring to the forefront the talents of women with outstanding supply chain leadership potential.


Ann DrakeAWESOME is being launched by Ann Drake, DSC Logistics CEO and recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Service Award from CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals). She is the first woman to receive the award in the 47 years since it was established. Ann is a leading proponent of women's leadership in logistics and supply chain management and related fields. She is working with other top leaders in the field to...


AWESOME News

For further news and information about AWESOME, visit awesomeleaders.org

July 2014

New website highlights women’s supply chain leadership

A new digital presence www.awesomeleaders.org has been created by AWESOME (Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management, and Education), the industry-wide supply chain leadership initiative started in early 2013.

According to Ann Drake, CEO of DSC Logistics and founder of AWESOME, “Because our purpose is advancing women supply chain leaders, the website serves as a hub for insights, information, and inspiration among senior level women in supply chain roles. This expands the ability of our network to reach leaders in all dimensions of the supply chain and in all parts of the world.”

Collective Wisdom,” a listening-based record of up-to-date thinking by supply chain executives participating in AWESOME events, is a feature of the new website as are Words of Wisdom, quotes from leaders throughout the network. Leading women in the field are profiled in “Spotlight On,” a feature with a Q&A format.

“When we launched AWESOME we found a surprising number of women holding high level positions in our field, but there was no network, no way to build connections, address mutual interests and leverage those relationships,” Drake said. “The network has doubled in size in its first year – and www.awesomeleaders.org is helping to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of these leaders.” 

AWESOME Legendary Leadership award honors first two recipients

Two women supply chain leaders received the AWESOME Legendary Leadership (ALL) Award for their outstanding achievements at the "Accelerate AWESOME" Symposium on May 15 in Park Ridge, Illinois. They are Heather Sheehan, Vice President, Indirect Sourcing and Logistics, Danaher Corporation, and Kathryn Wengel, Vice President, Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain.

The Award was presented for the first time to recognize women who have achieved extraordinary professional excellence and success, addressed challenges impacting opportunities for women in the supply chain field, and advanced the changing landscape of women's supply chain leadership.

These accomplishments are key priorities for the leadership initiative, AWESOME (Achieving Women's Excellence in Supply Operations, Management and Education), launched in early 2013 by Ann Drake, CEO of DSC Logistics.

"These outstanding women have advanced to supply chain leadership roles that were once virtually 'out of reach' for females," said Drake. "And by 'once,' I don't mean long ago. The leadership strengths of women have gone untapped in the supply chain field for many decades, and that situation is just beginning to change. These women were far ahead of that wave.”

As Danaher's co-Chief Procurement Officer, Heather Sheehan has worldwide responsibility for non-production and logistics sourcing, strategy, and implementation across the corporation's 40-plus operating companies with operations in 125 countries. She currently also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), the industry's leading professional organization. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Science degree from Carnegie Mellon University.

In her role as Vice President of Supply Chain, Kathryn Wengel is responsible for the entire supply chain across all of Johnson & Johnson's businesses worldwide, and a member of the Johnson & Johnson Management Committee. She has been with Johnson & Johnson for 25 years, serving in diverse quality, operations, technical and business leadership roles in Europe, Asia and elsewhere. She has a BSE in Civil Engineering and Operations Research from Princeton University.

The "ALL" awards were presented on May 15 at the conclusion of the second annual AWESOME Symposium, a day of panel discussions and networking designed for senior level supply chain women.

Second annual Symposium brings senior level women supply chain leaders together

AWESOME, the initiative launched in early 2013 to advance women supply chain leaders, held its second annual Symposium, “Accelerate AWESOME,” on Thursday, May 15, in Park Ridge, Illinois. Women in senior level supply chain roles participated in a day of networking, collaboration and learning.

Four panels of experts with different perspectives talked about issues related to women’s leadership. The two morning panels included “Leadership Unleashed,” with strategic supply chain leaders talking about how women are impacting company cultures and customer relationships, and “Insights Uncensored,” a conversation with male supply chain leaders about the challenges women still face. In the afternoon, the program included “Powering Up the Pipeline,” focusing on companies that have successful women’s leadership development programs, and “Building Leadership Careers Across Boundaries,” a panel of leading women from other industries discussing what steps they took to succeed.

At the conclusion of the Symposium, two women supply chain leaders received the AWESOME Legendary Leadership (ALL) Award for their outstanding achievements. They are Heather Sheehan, Vice President, Indirect Sourcing and Logistics, Danaher Corporation, and Kathryn Wengel, Vice President, Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain.

April 2014

AWESOME publishes second volume of “Reality Check”

Conversations with senior women supply chain leaders inspire the second report issued by AWESOME (Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management, and Education), an initiative launched in 2013 by CEO Ann Drake.

The report, Reality Check, Volume Two: What we Learned in Denver, captures key highlights from presentations and discussions at the AWESOME Executive Forum, held in conjunction with the annual global conference of CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals), in October 2013 in Denver.

The conversations in Denver both confirmed and expanded the thinking related to women’s supply chain leadership recorded in AWESOME’s first report, Reality Check: What We Now Know. 

Emphasizing collaboration as essential for successful supply chain management, Forum participants cited women’s desire and ability to eliminate barriers and silos, to work cooperatively with colleagues and to see both the big picture and the small details as qualities women bring to leadership. Another key observation is that one of the main obstacles hindering women from achieving their full potential as supply chain leaders is that the industry was structured by men for men. Up to the present, women have generally not had the advantages men have had in terms of networking, role models, mentoring and general openness to women as leaders.

What We Learned in Denver contains more enlightening observations and insights from supply chain leaders. You can download a copy at www.awesomeleaders.org.

January 2014

AWESOME issues report on women’s leadership issues

Strengthening Women’s leadership in supply chain is the subject of a report issued by AWESOME (Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management, and Education), an initiative launched earlier this year by Ann Drake, CEO of DSC Logistics. The report, Reality Check: What We Now Know, is based on the presentations and conversations recorded at the first AWESOME Symposium in May. Drake calls it “listening-based,” i.e., listening to senior people talk about what they think are the issues.

The report focuses on what senior executives are saying about strengths, obstacles and strategies in women’s leadership. The participants believe that women are extremely well-suited for the supply chain of the future because they are good at building and inspiring teams, and at seeing the big picture and communicating that vision to others. They see one of the primary obstacles as the profession’s image that makes it less appealing to young women choosing a career, saying that’s important to heighten the visibility of the field and let people know it’s a great field for a woman today. They believe that women should own their careers, build their own skills, help develop young people coming along the pipeline, and connect with each other. The report contains many more insights and observations from symposium panelists and participants.

Reality Check was introduced by Drake at a recent AWESOME-CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Professionals) panel presentation at the CSCMP global conference in Denver. It was sent initially to more than 400 leading women in supply chain and is available online at www.awesomeleaders.org.

October 2013

AWESOME, Women’s Supply Chain Leadership Initiative, presents Executive Forum

AWESOME, the women’s leadership initiative for the logistics and supply chain fields, will present the AWESOME Executive Forum Sunday, October 20, in Denver, in conjunction with the annual global conference of CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals) October 20-23. Ann Drake, chairman and CEO of DSC Logistics, launched AWESOME – Achieving Women's Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management, and Education – in January 2013.

The Executive Forum discussions will focus on “The Next Leap for Women Leaders: What do women need to know, do and be to excel and advance?” and “Industry Alive! Harnessing the Potential of Collaboration: How do we bring people from different organizations together and leverage opportunities for increased collaboration in Supply Chains?” Leading women executives will join Sandy Evett, former VP, Logistics & Distribution, Heinz North America, to present and facilitate discussions.

The Denver AWESOME plans also include the CSCMP Women at Work Panel and Reception (“21st Century Leadership: The Female Quotient”), the CSCMP Women in Logistics and Supply Chain Management Panel with a presentation by Drake on "Reality Check -- What We Now Know," the CSCMP conference opening session, and receptions hosted by CSCMP, AWESOME and DSC Logistics.

The report "Reality Check -- What We Now Know," which will also be published in late October, covers discussions on women’s leadership issues, obstacles and career-building strategies. Topics include what skills and qualities supply chain leaders will need in the future, what obstacles and issues women encounter that slow down or sideline their careers, and what needs to happen for the industry to tap in to the full leadership potential of women. The report summarizes the insights and observations of senior supply chain executives who participated in a May symposium hosted by Drake.

"What we learned at the Symposium is that our industry is as much as two decades behind fields such as financial services, law and management consulting in recognizing the value of diversity'" Drake said.

The Symposium brought together leading women in the field, representing a variety of roles - from SVPs of Logistics for Fortune 100 manufacturers to executives who lead supply chain practices for consulting companies to senior procurement officers to officials in government agencies overseeing transportation to professors of university-level programs educating future supply chain professionals.

"The field of supply chain management has changed dramatically over the past decade and a half," explained Drake. "Yet, what hasn't changed as significantly is the profession opening up to utilize the talents and skills of more women as leaders."

September 2013

Next AWESOME Event set for October 20-21 in Denver

The next AWESOME opportunity to network with other women supply chain leaders will be Sunday, October 20, and Monday, October 21, in Denver, in conjunction with the annual global conference of CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals) October 20-23.

The AWESOME Executive Forum will open the Denver event on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Discussions will focus on The Next Leap for Women Leaders: What do women need to know, do and be to excel and advance?” and Industry Alive!: Harnessing the Potential of Collaboration: How do we bring people from different organizations together and leverage opportunities for increased collaboration in Supply Chains?”

The Denver event will also include the CSCMP Women at Work Panel and Reception (“21st Century Leadership: The Female Quotient”), the CSCMP Women in Logistics and Supply Chain Management Panel featuring “Collected Wisdom” from the May 9 AWESOME Symposium presented by AWESOME founder Ann Drake, the CSCMP conference opening session, and receptions hosted by CSCMP, AWESOME and DSC Logistics.

For more information, click here.

July 2013

Ann Drake interviewed by SupplyChainBrain at the recent EyeForTransport 3PL Summit in Chicago

Ann Drake, CEO of DSC Logistics and one of the few women chief executives in the logistics industry, discusses the supply chain as a career path for women and the goals of AWESOME (Achieving Women's Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management and Education), a new initiative launched by Ann to aid women supply chain professionals in advancing their careers. Ann is interviewed by Jean Murphy, Editor Emeritus, SupplyChainBrain, at the recent EyeForTransport 3PL Summit in Chicago.

May 2013

AWESOME Symposium features top leaders discussing future of supply chain

At the first annual AWESOME (Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management and  Operations) Symposium on May 9, four leading supply chain executives participated on a panel focused on emerging challenges and the qualities leaders will need to meet those challenges. Pictured here with Ann Drake, CEO of DSC Logistics and founder of AWESOME (third from left) and Dr. Nancy Nix, panel moderator , (third from right),  are panelists (left to right): Kathy Wengel, Johnson & Johnson;  Lillian Dukes, Beechcraft Corporation;  Debbie Lentz, Kraft Foods;  and Sandy Evett, Heinz.

All four panelists hold top positions at their companies and were able to give insights into the supply chain’s increasingly important role in business and the global economy. Kathy Wengel is VP & Chief Quality Officer for J&J. Lillian Dukes is VP, Global Operations Material Control for Beechcraft. Debbie Lentz is SVP, Customer Service and Logistics, Kraft Foods North America. Sandy Evett is VP, Logistics and Distribution for Heinz North America. Dr. Nix is Executive Director, EMBA Program and Professor, Supply Chain Practice, TCU. Highlights of the Symposium also included three other panel discussions and interactive “buzz sessions” for participants to talk about relevant topics. AWESOME is an industry-wide leadership initiative launched in early 2013.

First AWESOME Symposium will be May 9, 2013, in Chicago Women who are leading executives in supply chain management, including logistics, procurement, supply management and sourcing, are being invited to "The AWESOME Future of Women's Supply Chain Leadership" on Thursday, May 9, at the DSC Meeting Center in Des Plaines, IL – just six miles north of Chicago's O'Hare Airport. After a day of networking and discussions focusing on advancing women's leadership and transforming the industry, participants are invited to join Ann Drake, DSC Logistics CEO and founder of AWESOME, for a reception and dinner.

 


Ann Drake launches AWESOME initiative for women's leadership

DSC CEO Ann Drake has announced a new initiative to increase women's leadership in logistics and supply chain management. The initiative recognizes the contribution of women leaders to the field and promotes the development of up-and-coming leaders. The initiative is named AWESOME - Advancing Women's Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management and Education.

Background: Over the past 10 years, the field of supply chain management, including logistics, procurement, supply management, and sourcing, has transformed. The pace of business has accelerated, the economic consequences of moving products through global markets have multiplied, and new technology is being developed and adopted at warp speed. The field is now recognized as one with tremendous power to help companies achieve their business goals. With increasingly complex problems to be solved and constantly-changing needs to be addressed, the role of strategic supply chain leaders is expanding dramatically.

According to Drake, "In an industry once thought to be mainly about moving boxes and driving trucks, critical elements of success now include creative problem solving, information sharing, and long-term partnerships. In this environment, women have a natural and vital role as team members and leaders. Yet, too few women are fulfilling top leadership roles in supply chain management."

"Our goal is to change that and bring new energy and new talent to our profession."

Key Elements of the Initiative:
Leadership Organization - Organizing a successful, sustainable national network of leading female executives in supply chain management

Leadership Collaboration - Expanding opportunities for interaction and collaboration among top women supply chain leaders

Leadership Development - Addressing the need to increase the number of women with strong leadership potential who enter the field, to fully develop the potential of up-and-coming leaders, and to improve opportunities for the next generation of women supply chain leaders:

• At the national level     • At the company level     • At the university level

Communication about Women's Supply Chain Leadership - Raising awareness throughout the industry and the general business community of women's significant contribution to the field - and increasing openness to women's leadership

Who will be involved in the initiative?

  • Director level and above executives with supply chain responsibilities at manufacturing companies and retail businesses
  • C-suite leaders in medium or larger logistics and supply chain companies, and VPs and above in ocean or rail companies
  • Directors, partners or practice leaders of consulting firms in supply chain management, engineering, technology and other related fields
  • Leaders of aviation and space companies, military logistics, and in government, responsible for transportation and/or infrastructure
  • Professors of leading or emerging university-level programs in logistics and supply chain, engineering, information technology and other related programs
  • Leaders of industry organizations