Imagine if you could go back in time to when you started your first job. Wouldn’t you love to reassure yourself it was all going to be ok or offer some advice on how to navigate the next few years of your career?
Procurious recently launched Bravo, a new group seeking to address gender disparity in the workplace, and celebrate and empower women working within procurement.
As part of the Bravo campaign, Procurious will be interviewing a number of high profile procurement leaders and seeking their advice on how we can help other women to get ahead in their procurement careers.
Michelle Baker is Global Procurement Director: IT and Business Services Categories at SABMiller Procurement.
In this interview Michelle discusses the issues that affect women in the workplace, advice she would offer her younger self and why she loves procurement!
Michelle will also be attending this year’s Big Ideas Summit as a panelist to talk about Global Risk assessments.
What have been the most successful approaches organisations you know have taken to decrease gender disparity?
- Putting gender disparity on the leadership agenda of issues to address.
- Balanced slates in recruitment.
- Making gender disparity a talking topic across the whole company, irrespective of people’s gender.
What has been your most rewarding experience and greatest accomplishment to date?
Leading and developing people in diverse global teams (and not just gender diverse, but race, religion, age, sexual orientation etc.) has been fantastically rewarding personally.
My greatest accomplishment in the workplace is that I am still curious and excited about the work I do after so many years: IT’s evolution has meant I have to constantly hurry to keep up!
What issues currently affect you as a woman in procurement?
I don’t think diversity is an issue exclusively to procurement.
But, looking back, I think the absence of positive role models in senior roles made it more difficult to navigate corporate politics than it needed to be.
Who are the most influential women in your life?
Too many to mention! I have a healthy group of friends and family that go back to my early days at university in South Africa and many others scattered across the countries in which I’ve lived. They each offer their own special support, whether they know it or not, in my development.
Why is procurement the perfect career for you?
It keeps me endlessly curious and allows me to have direct contact with what a range of senior stakeholders in my company are doing and trying to achieve.
If you could offer your younger self two pieces of advice, what would they be?
Find a mentor, and never stop learning.
Some of the Procurious team joined Michelle at a Women in Procurement Breakfast last year at ProcureCon IT.
Following an insightful discussion, everyone said the two pieces of advice that they would offer their younger selves.
Michelle put together this fantastic infographic to represent the group’s responses.
Let us know the two pieces of advice you’d like to offer your younger self via the Bravo group.
Join the Big Ideas 2017 conversation and register as a digital delegate