The Faculty’s Hugo Britt shares some inspirational words and thought-provoking ideas from the 2nd Annual Women in Procurement conference.
Back in March, I attended Quest Event’s 2nd Annual Women in Procurement conference in Melbourne, representing Procurious as the event’s media partner.
Literally within minutes of the conference being opened by NBN Co’s Chief Procurement Officer Coretta Bessi, I was scrambling to keep up my note taking as a flood of ideas, inspirational words and thought leadership came from the podium. And this pace didn’t let up over the two days of the conference.
Why run a conference exclusively for women in Procurement in Australia? Because the numbers are dire.
According to Jigsaw Talent Management’s Trends in Gender Diversity, the average split in the Australian national workforce is 54 per cent to 46 per cent in favour of men. But in the Procurement profession specifically the numbers are much worse – 63 per cent to 36 per cent in favour of men. Let’s not also forget the widening gender pay gap – currently averaging 17.1 per cent.
All of these figures point to an urgent need to drive change through a gathering of minds such as that seen at Women in Procurement.
Rather than try to summarise the content of the key speakers’ presentations, I’d like to share what I took as the most inspirational words and thought-provoking quotes from the conference.
Coretta Bessi, CPO, NBN Co.
“Ask yourself every day: ‘What am I doing today that will make me better tomorrow than I was yesterday?’”
Kelly Irwin, Head of Procurement Australia and NZ, Holcim
“Have the courage to leap out of your comfort zone.”
“A boss depends on authority, but a leader depends on goodwill.”
Jonathan Dutton, Director, JD Consultancy
“The secret to success in procurement is staying relevant to the vision.”
“Corporate Social Responsibility has the potential to change the fabric of our decision-making in procurement.”
Dutton’s four big critiques of modern procurement:
- An unproductive focus on cost
- Organisational isolation with no customer focus
- Glacial pace of procurement processes
- Acting without enquiry and not asking WHY.
Margaret Ruwoldt, University of Melbourne, speaking on the “Working out Loud” movement
“Hierarchical boundaries are much more permeable in a networked world. You have personal development opportunities that didn’t exist five years ago.”
“’Working out Loud’ is ‘How to Make Friends and Influence People’ meets the internet”
“Don’t wait to be plucked from the crowd – make yourself stand out.”
Jackie Aggett, Head of Procurement, Laing O’Rourke and The Faculty Roundtable member
“Courage, for me, means believing in myself, and believing my ideas are worth sharing.”
Sharon Hoysted, Procurement Manager, Supplier Management, Boeing Aerostructures Australia
“Diversity and inclusion are key to fostering a culture of innovation in your business.”
Nelli Kim, Senior Supplier Management Specialist, Telstra International Group
“If you can get through the self-doubt and give something a try, it’s a win.”
“What are YOU doing to personally manage your development?”
Professor Margaret Alston, Monash University
“Australia’s gender pay gap has grown to 17.1 per cent differential. This is simply not equitable. To achieve the same wage in Australia, women would have to work 64 days extra per year.”
Jennie Vickers, Director Australia and NZ, IACCM
“Don’t be defined by your job title or you’ll find yourself disappearing.”
“Make the case and articulate the benefits of supplier relationship management.”
Honey Meares, Procurement Manager, Supply Strategy, Genesis Energy
On clarity of purpose: “It’s important to know what you are trying to achieve.”
Sarah Collins, Chief Procurement Officer, NSW Roads and Maritime Services
“Don’t try to change everything at once – rather, concentrate on starting the momentum.”
You can check out the full programme for the event here.
Hugo Britt is a Research Consultant at The Faculty, helping to support The Faculty Roundtable, an influential group of Australian procurement leaders, who gather to share their experiences and insights. The Faculty will be hosting their ninth Asia-Pacific CPO Forum, the region’s premier procurement event dedicated to accelerating commercial leadership at the highest level.
For more information on The Faculty Roundtable or CPO Forum, contact Program Manager, Belinda Toohey.