A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend the ProcureCon Europe ‘Women in Procurement’ Breakfast in Berlin.
The conversation over breakfast got me thinking about the women who have supported and influenced my career. In my previous article, I talked about the first half of my career, pre-children. This week, I’m focusing on the influencers I have met since I had my children.
Once I had children, managing my career became a lot trickier. For me, work simply couldn’t be my number one focus anymore – I had some other major commitments that were consuming my heart and my head (they still do!).
As I didn’t have any relevant role models for my situation at the time, I found my own path for managing my career (which could be the topic of another story…maybe even book!).
The Value of Mentoring
I believe there are some real strategies to mentoring, which I captured in this blog. I have always reminded people you don’t need just one mentor, you can learn from a whole array of people. It’s not only learning about what you want to do, but the kind of leader you don’t want to be as well. You can learn both ways.
Becoming an entrepreneur meant I chose a very lonely path full of second-guessing and self-doubt. For me, the women around me have provided me with the “courage to change” and have given me the confidence and self-belief to stay committed to my goals.
There are of course many fantastic women in Procurement – many of which I haven’t had the fortune to meet yet. The women profiled here have had an influence on my career and professional development.
Here are just five more who have left a lasting impression on me.
1. Eva Wimmers
Eva is the closest thing I have met to a procurement rock star! She has enjoyed an extremely successful procurement career at Deutsche Telekom, including being on the Supervisory Board for T-Systems International, and a Board member for both BME and Procurement Leaders.
She is an inspiring speaker on supplier collaboration and innovation. Most importantly, she has relentless energy, direction and is always forward thinking – all things I think are exactly what the profession needs.
2. Dapo Ajayi
Dapo’s enthusiasm for procurement, and her commitment to ensuring her leadership team embraces social media to win the war for talent, makes her an inspiration to me right now. Mostly because I am hoping all CPOs will soon start to understand the power of social media for the profession.
I am also a fan because Dapo comes from a non-procurement background, and has fallen in love with our awesome profession! I love it when others see the scope and opportunity for procurement.
3. Georgia Brandi
Georgia was recently named the CIPS Australasia Young Procurement and Supply Chain Management Professional of the Year 2015, and, less than two weeks later, was then awarded her Juris Doctorate in Law (that is, of course, on top of her Bachelor of Arts AND Business).
Georgia’s energy and commitment to her career and professional development is a huge inspiration to me (and I hope many others). She is investing in herself, learning what she can and kicking goals at work. She is absolutely one to watch in the future!
4. Visna Lampasi
Visna is one of the most successful procurement professionals in Australia. She is on the CIPS Global Board of Trustees and has been recognised as CPO of the Year. Her success has been built on an uncompromising focus on process and results.
I meet with Visna as often as I can, to talk about developing the profession and how to win the war for talent.
5. Lisa Malone
Lisa and I have worked together for almost 7 years and are now focussing on building the Procurious community together. Lisa encouraged me to start blogging and is now working on convincing me to write a book. Once again, having someone in your corner pushing you on is absolutely invaluable.
In my presentations on social media, I recommend that every executive find himself or herself at least one ‘millennial mentor’. Lisa is my millennial social media mentor and has been the single biggest influence on me “getting out there” and sharing my thoughts for (hopefully) the benefit of the procurement universe!
One Final Challenge
And finally, another challenge for you. Who are you looking to for cues on how to best manage your career? If you don’t already have a mentor, why not start looking today?
“The more women help one another, the more we help ourselves. Acting like a coalition truly does produce results.”