Linda Scott   |   14 Mar 2022   |   3 min read

Missed Out? 5 Key Takeaways from Women in Procurement & Supply Chain 2022

WIP final

If you didn’t attend this year’s conference, let me get you in the loop! Here are the key themes and topics that were discussed.

#1: Fighting Modern Slavery Greatly Benefits Women

A major theme of the conference was how procurement can be used to support and empower women. One thing many people may not know is how fighting modern slavery can come into this.

According to Alison Rahill of the Australian Catholic Anti-Slavery Network, over 40 million people globally are victims of modern slavery, and over 16 million of these operate within corporate supply chains.

Almost three out of four victims of modern slavery are women and girls. This means fighting modern slavery by keeping an ethical supply chain is strongly connected to empowering women worldwide.

#2: Emotional Intelligence and Digital Dexterity are the New Procurement Skillset

In the past, being a procurement professional was all about memorising policy. However, according to Christel Martin, Director of Procurement Excellence at Transport for NSW, global hiring trends are shifting.

Employers are now looking for applicants with good emotional intelligence, clear communication skills and digital dexterity. Since the pandemic began, working digitally became an expectation, and this benchmark is expected to continue in the post-pandemic environment.

#3: Digital Transformation is On the Rise

To go with the last point, procurement technology (ProcureTech) is being increasingly incorporated into businesses. In my own presentation, I shared how 76% of CPOs have listed digital transformation as their top priority for 2022.

There are multiple reasons for this demand: dealing with supply chain instability caused by Covid-19, streamlining processes, and increasing compliance.

Contract management solutions are currently the most popular as they provide an effective way to deal with ‘Administrivia’ – routine contract management tasks that are trivial, uninteresting, or time-consuming.

#4: Using AI For Investigating Suppliers, Spotting Scandals

One cutting edge use of technology was the use of Artificial Intelligence to investigate suppliers and watch out for fraud and corruption.

Natalya Levenkova from Satori shared how technology can pick up these red flags by scanning the data. For example, an AI could flag if the names, addresses and bank account details being used suddenly change against previous data.

By monitoring data patterns, this can also help monitor supplier credit and risk over time, providing valuable insights.

#5: Breaking the Bias

The official theme of this year's International Women's Day was “Breaking the Bias” and, of course, the conference opened on IWD. Discussions covered how gender diversity can be promoted in the sector, and how equal outcomes can be achieved regardless of gender.

Sharing the Stories of Women in Procurement

Here at VendorPanel, we believe in breaking the bias. Click on the links below to read a series of stories from women in the industry, in which they share their achievements and knowledge.

  • Maria Getsios, Strategic Procurement Coordinator at the City of Canada Bay.
  • Jennifer Sulentic, Chief Procurement Ally for our CompareCoOps brand in the US.
  • Jesse Johnson, Senior Procurement and Contracts Office at the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley.
  • Cathy Dizon, Strategic Procurement and Contracts Manager at Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC).

Further reading

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