In the spirit of International Women’s Day we would like to recognize all the women in leadership positions in technology and supply chain in particular, a field that has been historically dominated by men. We’ve asked our own Managing Partner & CEO, Jayne Archbold, a few questions about what it’s been like to be a woman in the Supply Chain industry and what the most important things are that an organization can do to more effectively advance women to supply chain or technology leadership positions.
Q: When did you first start your career in Supply Chain technology, and how did it happen?
A: I’ve been in ERP software for over 20 years working with thousands of customers from small start up to the largest Enterprises. I got into the software industry as the world was facing Y2k, at that point I was focused on how small to mid-size business would cope with this and the impact on their supply chain and things then went from there.
Q: What challenges have you experienced of being a woman in this industry during your career?
A: Initially confidence. At the age of 26 working in a mostly male dominated tech industry was scary! I hated attending networking events where often I’d be the only women. The good news for me is my brother is a professional footballer so at least I had one small talk topic to engage with.
Q: You are the CEO of Iptor and also recently acquired the business with your longtime colleague Christopher Catterfeld, backed by a strong new partnership with Bregal Unternehmerkapital. Can you tell us a little bit about the new ownership?
A: Having successfully re-positioned Iptor over the past years, the ambition is now to lead the company to the next stage of growth with strong vertical offerings and a leading user experience to win in the market. And to increase Iptor’s global footprint with strategic acquisitions in the months and years to come. We call this plan: Iptor 22.
Q: What are you most passionate about as a female leader in this industry?
A: People have always been my passion – that could be our employees, customers, suppliers, partners, I love building relationships and playing to people’s strengths. Next is looking at ways to add value, that’s value to our customers and is often around process, people and technology and also creating value for Iptor to give us long term sustainable growth.
Q: What is your best advice to un-experienced women out there who want to develop a career in this industry?
A: Be yourself. Authenticity is key. Get a good mentor or coach to help you through the tough times.
Q: In your opinion, what is the most important thing an organization can do to improve recruiting and retention of women in the supply chain organization?
A: Embrace diversity, for me it’s not about women, it’s about the right gender, culture and skills mix. Diverse teams in my experience are higher performing.
Please join us in celebrating women’s achievements this March 8th! An equal world is an enabled world.