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Purdum Moderates Panel on Women in Leadership at Supply Chain Conference

Susan B. Purdum, instructor in supply chain and information systems in the Penn State Smeal College of Business, moderated a panel on women and leadership at the annual Global Conference for Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP). The conference was held at the end of October in Denver, Colo.
December 12, 2013

Susan B. Purdum, instructor in supply chain and information systems in the Penn State Smeal College of Business, moderated a panel on women and leadership at the annual Global Conference for Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP).  The conference was held at the end of October in Denver, Colo.

“There may never be a better time for women in supply chain leadership roles to excel, as some of these skill sets may come naturally to them.”

Sponsored by Penn State Executive Programs, the panel’s theme, 21st Century Leadership: The Female Quotient, focused on new leadership capabilities needed for what many describe as a networked economy.  The panel explored whether or not these new leadership imperatives create unique opportunities for women to advance their careers by making a greater impact at work.

Based on recent research, including that by Al Vicere, executive education professor of strategic leadership for Penn State Executive Programs, business leaders who manage today’s networked economies should possess several attributes for success including the ability to think creatively and beyond the firm’s boundaries; build networks with complementary business partners; effectively negotiate and manage these networks diplomatically; and interpret or help others see the benefits. Women may already be innately hard-wired with abilities in perceptiveness, listening and communicating, and team-building.

“There may never be a better time for women in supply chain leadership roles to excel, as some of these skill sets may come naturally to them,” said Purdum as she introduced the panel’s theme. She adds that these skills can also be nurtured and developed.

The panelists included Mary J. Boettcher, president of Integrys Transportation Fuels; Jason R. Reiman, vice president of global logistics at The Hershey Company; Heather L. Sheehan, vice president of indirect sourcing and logistics at Danaher Corporation; and Michelle L. Vandermeer, senior director of North American logistics at Whirlpool Corporation. Reiman ’93 and Sheehan ’85 are Penn State Smeal alumni.

The panelists, along with more than 150 attendees, discussed ways in which the business of work has changed and how supply chain professionals, particularly women, can excel in this new way of work.

About Penn State Executive Programs
As part of the Smeal College of Business, Penn State Executive Programs builds leadership and organizational capabilities to address pressing business challenges. Open-enrollment programs for executives are offered in areas such as strategy and leadership, supply chain management, and finance. Penn State Executive Programs also partners with major multinational organizations to deliver customized learning solutions. Learn more at www.smeal.psu.edu/psep.

About Supply Chain at Penn State
Smeal’s No. 1 supply chain program offers a comprehensive suite of supply chain education, beginning at the undergraduate level with a bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain and Information Systems. The Penn State Smeal MBA Program offers a concentration in supply chain management, and the college also offers a Ph.D. in supply chain. Smeal’s Center for Supply Chain Research and Penn State Executive Programs offer certificate programs in supply chain management and supply chain leadership.

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