Top 10 Women in Procurement
There are many valiant efforts to encourage women and girls to consider careers in STEM, but another gender-imbalanced industry, procurement, is often overlooked.
Working in procurement involves researching products or services for a business from an independent party (not to be confused with purchasing, which is facilitating the payments).
Yet in a report by the consulting firm Oliver Wyman, , results showed that out of the Chief Procurement Officers questioned, 60% agree that there has been an increase in the number of women in procurement over the past three years.
From Aboriginal networks to Unilever, here are our top 10 women in procurement from across the globe…
10: Ampy Cheung Aswin, Global Vice President Supply Chain, Unilever
Each day, 2.5 billion people use Unilever products, from Dove deodorant to Ben and Jerry’s ice cream - and it’s Aswin who gets products from their conception to those customers. Since graduating from De La Salle University in 1997, the Philippino business woman has worked for Unilever, where nearly half of all managers are women. Aswin has held several Unilever Vice President positions, before landing the role of Unilever Global Vice President Supply Chain in 2019.
09: Brigitte Michaud, Senior VP Global Supply Chain, STADA
After studying her Masters degree in Business Administration at IAE Bordeaux, Michaud worked for L’Oreal and Danone, then took the logical step to STADA.
The pharmaceutical giant has always prioritised customers’ health. In 2020, the company led the fight against Covid-19 with Michaud managing the supply chain - the highest production output in STADA’s history. In addition, STADA had proudly put its employees at the front of the STADA empire.
08: Lizeth Cardenas Guzman, Huawei Deputy Supply Chain Director Peru
When Guzman makes a phone-call using one of the Huawei products she helped create, she could be speaking to Spanish, English or Chinese colleagues in their native language. The Peruvian Deputy Supply Chain Director is determined to uplift her colleagues: “I’m a leader who inspires people to be leaders,” said Guzman.
With 12 years in Supply Chain Business, she has a degree in International Business Management and is a certified Professional Business Coach.
07: Sapna Alva Tariyal, CPO Asia Pacific, Capgemini
Tariyal has 23 years of experience across supplier management, but she is a people management pro first. She believes having the right attitude and embracing learning opportunities have helped her on her professional journey. Tariyal leads her team by example - from the office to the army.
“I followed my dream,” says of her career in the Indian Armed Forces, before moving on to procurement - an industry where she hopes to encourage diversity.
06: Debbie Barwick, Chairperson and Executive Officer, NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce
First Australian Berwick established the Indigenous Chamber of Commerce in addition to the National Network of Indigenous Chambers of Commerce, to bring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders together. The Chamber represents 4,500 indigenous businesses and the network has 5,500 members.
“It creates role modelling, it creates jobs,” said of the launch of the Chamber.
Barwick is an experienced trainer on procurement and a respected advisor to state and federal governments on economic policy.
05: Virginie Vast, Head of Country Procurement Europe Region, Amazon
Is there is a household in Europe which the hand of Amazon has not reached? Thanks to Virginie Vast, Amazon’s Head of Country Procurement in Europe, probably not. The University of Connecticut School of Business graduate worked for Vodaphone and Siemens before moving to Amazon in 2020, with the desire to look at sustainable procurement - the business of meeting a businesses needs while minimising environmental damage. Vast is a strong believer in “creation that goes beyond traditional procurement”.
04: Linda Chuan, Head of Strategic Sourcing & Procurement Ops, Box
The Stanford University graduate has been nicknamed “procurement royalty” for her holistic problem solving skills. Chuan worked across Yahoo! and Thomson Reuters, before moving to Box (cloud content management). When the pandemic hit, Chuan didn’t flinch.
“Being street smart versus book smart,” Chuan explained in a 2020 , “There are things that we’ve learned as CPOs working through the ranks or if you received your Masters degree from supply chain institutions - you have to balance.”
03: Lisa Martin, CPO, GSK
At the pharmaceutical company GSK, Chief Procurement Officer Martin works to bring talented people together to create outstanding results.
“My personal belief is in building a blended team,” explains. “Blended with the very best talent that GSK has internally and with key external recruits, that have diversity in their career experience.”
A winner of the J. Shipman Gold Medal Award for her services to supply management, Martin lives in New Jersey with her family.
02: Angela Qu, CPO, Lufthansa
Qu has worked hard over 25 years to force strong partnerships with internal stakeholders and service providers, maintaining that her leadership principle is to empower her teams for them to perform at their best.
Over the past year, Qu has not allowed the devastating impact the Covid-19 crisis has had on the aviation industry to disturb her calm. Lufthansa is Germany’s biggest airline, whose revenue dropped 90% folowing the pandemic.
“When Covid arrived, we were not prepared,” Qu admitted to the . “It became an urgent issue for procurement to act; to be calm and deal with things professionally.”
Lufthansa rescued passengers stuck abroad and transported medical equipment to Europe.
In 2020, Qu was included in the Procurement Power List 2020.
01: Divya Demato, CEO, GoodOps
Multilingual Demato did not start small when she founded GoodOps, the sustainable supply chain consultancy. “To make the changes needed in the world, from both a people and planet perspective, it’s all in the supply chain,” she told . “Consumers are beginning to accelerate their needs and desires in terms of what brands are responsible for.”
The company has worked with Walmart, Danone and other businesses who want to make planet-positive changes to their company. Dedicated to supporting the Human Rights of labour workers from the factory floor up, Demato also works towards uplifting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Last year, she won the Women in Supply Chain Award 2020 and is a Mentor for Unreasonable Group, which supports entrepreneurs.