Procurement; not just a mans’ world.

Although Procurement may have traditionally been considered a male dominated profession, there are a growing number of dynamic, engaging, career minded women stepping into the field and taking on senior management roles. From a Procurement Recruitment perspective 44% of our appointments have been women this year, a number we expect to rise as we move into 2016.

It’s no wonder procurement has become such an attractive career prospect. Unlike some of the occupations more traditionally associated with women, procurement is instantly recognised for its’ contribution to the bottom line and as a major business enabler. Salaries are competitive and the career paths on offer are challenging and varied. There is also the fact that performance rather than seniority will open the career doors for ambitious individuals. The very nature of the procurement field means that from day one, engagement and collaboration with key stakeholders is paramount, giving the post-holder an opportunity to start adding value from the minute they walk through door.

In a recent article for Procurious the online network for procurement professionals, Tanya Seary (Founder) looks at the rise of successful women in procurement in more detail. In particular she observes the character traits of female leaders who have influenced and inspired her career, bringing to the forefront some interesting insights as to why women are able to make such an impact in professional procurement roles.

She describes one as having a natural gift for always assuming the leadership role, always listening to and respecting a debate before offering the strategic viewpoint and recommending solutions that would benefit the whole organisation. She also had the ability to delegate and empower her teams, freeing her time up to do the things she excelled in. This subject of empowerment came up more than once. The skill of giving others confidence In their own abilities was described as an amazingly effective and important leadership tool, both as a motivator but also as a way of inspiring loyalty and boosting productivity.

Other key attributes included an ability to maintaining ‘a demanding focus on detail’ and an appreciation for the fact that the numbers in procurement must always ‘be indisputable.’

The fact is women have many of the natural skills it takes to excel in the procurement field. Good listeners and often excellent rapport builders, they find key tasks such as forming strong supplier relationships and engaging with stakeholders both interesting and motivating. Women are also adept at nurturing others and wanting to see them succeed and have an appreciation of detail and how important it is within the business arena.

That’s not to say that men can’t bring similar strengths to the table, but the truth is a business needs a healthy combination of the innate skills and characteristics of men and women to form balanced, productive teams.

As recruiters we strive to find the right individuals for the organisations we represent irrespective of gender, something which will help broaden diversity naturally within the sector.

About the Author

Rupert

Founder and Director of Procurement Heads. Level headed, solutions focused, highly experienced recruiter with a detailed knowledge of the procurement market and the ability to challenge accepted norms to achieve effective outcomes. Specialist for the Southern region.

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