Are you ever tempted to give up on your career aspirations at the first hurdle? Tania Seary explains why you’ll thank yourself in the long run for sticking it out!
We recently launched Bravo – a Procurious Group addressing gender disparity in the workplace through the celebration of women.
As part of Bravo, Procurious will be asking a number of high profile procurement leaders their advice to other women in Procurement, and how we can help them to get ahead in their careers.
We’re kicking things off with our founder Tania Seary. Tania is the Founding Chairman of three companies specialising in the development of the procurement profession – Procurious, The Faculty and The Source. In this interview, Tania shares her thoughts on what makes a great leader, how we can motivate more people to join the procurement profession and her advice to the next generation of rising stars.
How can procurement motivate more women to join the profession (and stay with it!)?
A career in Procurement offers fantastic and diverse opportunities, which are not always readily, or well, conveyed to budding young professionals.
In my opinion, the function could be doing a lot more to engage with universities, both to encourage the development of the curriculum and to educate undergrads about what constitutes a career in procurement. Several global companies have integrated procurement rotations into their graduate schemes and I would love to see more organisations following suit. Not only has this proven successful in terms of recruiting the hottest new talent but it also gives the business as a whole the chance to see what valuable and interesting work procurement is doing.
Finally, as always, I would encourage and urge procurement professionals to share, share, share! Become an advocate for procurement by sharing your stories, experiences and insights to encourage the best talent, both male and female, to join our profession.
What tips/advice would you give to Procurement rising stars?
Stick it out!
One of life’s greatest achievements is making it across the finish line to collect the medal, or at least the participation award! In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to give up at the first hurdle and pull out of the race. By abandoning your plans you’re doing yourself a huge disservice. Those who are ambitious, push through in tougher times, keep working hard and are able to bounce back onto the career track after a knock back are the ones who go on to the greatest successes.
Of course, this can be easier said than done, especially when it comes to juggling family and working life. Women are under so much more pressure to balance the two and it’s this that I believe explains the gender disparity at the top of organisations.
What has been your most rewarding experience and greatest accomplishment to date?
Being a full time working woman and a mother presents a whole host of logistical and emotional challenges. It’s even harder without a strong support network. I’ve been so fortunate to have had some inspiring female mentors and colleagues who supported me through the early stages of my career and when I was setting up my own businesses
It’s extremely rewarding to now be in the position to pass on some of the things I’ve learnt. I’m always keen to mentor, inspire and, of course, employ fantastic women in procurement!
My three companies (The Source, The Faculty and Procurious) have helped to connect thousands of procurement pros. It’s exciting to see how Procurious has helped to shape the careers of procurement professionals globally and in so many different ways.
What 3 attributes make a great leader?
1) Accountability – The best leaders will take full responsibility for their mistakes as well as their successes. They can look in the mirror, own their decisions, embrace the outcomes and be proud of what they see.
2) Vision – This is what separates leaders from managers. A manager simply does the job they are tasked with. A true leader has vision and, as such, a passion (that they can hopefully make contagious) for what they are trying to achieve.
3) Empathy – Understanding the motivators, drivers and feelings of those around you is so important when it comes to unlocking the power of the people in your organisation. Solid, working relationships make the world, and business go around.
Why is procurement the perfect career for you?
As someone who get bored easily, the variety of possibilities within procurement was initially a big drawcard. I love to continuously learn, problem solve and bring people together. Procurement has allowed me to do all three of these things on a global scale.
What are three pivotal things that have brought you to where you are today?
Working hard, never giving up and continually learning. There’s always a lot of discussion surrounding the first two points but I’d really like to stress just how important it is to keep learning, no matter what stage you have reached in your career. We’ve made eLearning a huge part of Procurious and in the work we do in my other companies so it is easy for procurement pros to learn quickly, any time and on the go!
Take every opportunity you can to learn from your colleagues, managers and even your employees. Make sure you work for “learning” organisations that are likely to support your ongoing career development.
At Procurious, we want to make it easier for women to get into, stay in, and thrive in the procurement profession. This is why we are launching Bravo – a Procurious Group celebrating and promoting women in Procurement. Join the conversation here.