Episode 19: Women Shaping Procurement Live Panel Session #2
By Katherine McCleery | March 25, 2021
“There are women in procurement who are becoming brands in their own right. They will use their spotlight to raise other women and level the playing field.” – Susan Walsh
In today’s Women Shaping Procurement panel we’re talking about personal branding, gender diversity in the workplace, and how to be an ally for women. We’re here to prepare a place for the women coming behind us. These conversations need to be had so we can cultivate awareness and understand the reality of gender disparity. It’s so we can give people actionable things to do moving forward.
Stephany Lapierre: The Founder and CEO of Tealbook
Sarah Scudder: The President and CRO of Real Sourcing Network
Madison Mobley: Enterprise Sales Director of Fairmarkit
[0:34] Women Shaping Procurement Live Panel Session #2
[4:15] Stephany Lapierre + Tealbook
[6:42] Gender diversity at Tealbook
[8:30] Embedding core values into the workplace
[11:33] Sarah Scudder + Real Sourcing Network
[14:23] Who has inspired Sarah’s success
[18:42] Three ways to position yourself as a leader
[29:29] Tealbook’s supplier diversity program
[36:43] Madison Mobley + Fairmarkit
[41:12] How to be allies for women
[48:42] Resources available for further education
Gender diversity in the workplace
Tealbook’s board of directors is split 50/50, their executive team is 60% women, and they’re 50/50 split on their entire team, including R&D and data. Stephany notes that having a woman founder has attracted talent and been an incentive for employees to work at Tealbook. It comes with a different type of culture.
They’ve committed to give opportunities to women when there have been strong candidates on both sides. By being aware of it—and making it part of their core values—they can continue to foster that. They have 80% visible minorities at their company, which makes them a stronger team. How do you embed those core values into the workplace? Stephany notes that having a commitment from the CEO and executive team is important. It’s a great way to make sure that everyone embraces their core values.
They integrate their core values into their day-to-day. It’s in their job description, employee agreement, and even a slack channel where they shout out team members based on their core values. They consistently reiterate their core values. It’s created an environment of safety where people feel equal and able to learn and grow.
How to build a personal brand
Sarah learned how important it is to build a personal brand early on. What does it mean to have a brand? Sarah defines a brand as “What people say about you when you aren’t in a room.” A brand takes intention, strategy, and dedicated time. You want your personal brand to enhance and grow your company’s brand.
How do you build a brand? Sarah breaks it down into two steps:
Step 1: Select things you want to be known for. Sarah has four things she wants to be known for. The first is being the go-to for all things print. The second is being president of the Bradley Cooper fan club. The third is being an advocate for women in procurement. The fourth is being a connector. What are your things?
Step 2: Develop your personal marketing plan:
- Get on LinkedIn every day. It’s an incredible business networking platform that should not be ignored. Like, react, engage, and post.
- Start speaking. Start small—sign up for a panel with multiple people. Speak at a virtual event or in Clubhouse.
- Spend time writing. Put down your thoughts, experiences, and challenges. This gives you content that you can post and things to reference and reflect on.
- Reach out to 5 new people every single day. You can do that in online communities, at virtual events, and even happy hours.
- Stay in touch with people. Build and maintain relationships through emails, calls, or even quick notes. You stay top-of-mind and add value.
- Find something to wear that represents you and makes you stand out. It’s a powerful medium to use as part of your brand-building strategy.
Think of your personal brand as something fluid and can evolve based on external circumstances. Stick to who you are as a person but know your brand may need to morph and change over time.
How to be allies for women
Madison notes that it isn’t easy to be an ally. It’s hard work. She shares that there’s a spectrum of being an ally, and most people fall in four places on the spectrum: apathetic, aware, active or advocate.
- If you’re apathetic, you don’t have a clue what’s going on.
- If you’re aware, you’re knowledgeable about the issues and know there is work to be done—but you’re not doing anything.
- If you’re active, you’re well-informed. You’re sharing your perspectives and what you’ve learned. You’re seeking out diverse spaces. But you’re waiting to be invited to the conversation.
- When you’re an advocate, you’re on the frontline of change agency. You’re proactive in how you champion inclusion.
The process is about taking a step back to say, “Okay, I accept that there are corporate infrastructures that disadvantage certain groups of people.” You’re aware that work needs to be done. You take a critical look at how you hire, how you write job descriptions, the questions you ask, and the onboarding process.
How do you educate and cultivate culture? How do you pinpoint the bias that exists everywhere? How do you counter those biases? Allyship is a continuous assessment of blindspots and seeking peers, colleagues, etc. that are culture-adds. It is continuous work and continuous commitment to education, feedback, and learning.
If you need to learn more, you need to take the brunt of that self-education responsibility. Madison shares that an awesome pool of resources called “Supplies for Allies” is one such resource.
To hear the full panel discussion about personal branding, gender diversity, and how to be an ally for women—listen to the whole episode of The Sourcing Hero.