Grace Sharkey on Let's Talk Supply Chain.

310: Women in Supply Chain, Grace Sharkey


In today’s episode of Women In Supply Chain, I’m joined by Grace Sharkey – writer, podcaster and self-confessed freight tech nerd.

Grace started her career as an account rep at Fifth Wheel Freight, a 3PL consistently honored on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America. Over her time with FWF, Grace honed her skills in roles across sales, operations, business development and strategy, before deciding to pivot in 2021, when she joined FreightWaves. Utilizing all of her supply chain knowledge, Grace thrived as a writer and, earlier this year, also became the host of popular radio show, FreightWaves Drive Time on SiriusXM.

Today Grace will be talking to us about her career so far; her love of freight technology innovation; making the leap from brokerage to broadcasting; and why supply chain was built for women. Plus, she’ll be sharing her experiences as a woman in supply chain, as well as her words of advice for all of the women following in her footsteps.

 

SHOW SPONSOR:

 

This Women in Supply Chain feature was sponsored by Sifted.

As a business dedicated to empowering confidence within the shipping industry, we’re proud to support women in supply chain. Sifted is the leading logistics intelligence software, that combines insights with expertise to empower bigger, smarter shipping decisions. As growth and disruptions present ongoing challenges for supply chain leaders, thousands rely on Sifted to set their businesses up for success. Learn more about Sifted here.

 

IN THIS EPISODE WE DISCUSS:

 

[06.41] Grace’s career journey, from a degree in international relations and affairs to supply chain, and why the two are so well suited.

“I was fundraising… And a number of logistics companies would actually come and recruit out of that job because it was the same type of work – on the phone, and being able to be scrappy with what people throw at you.”

[12.01] How a fundraising role led Grace to a start-up 3PL, and why she fell in love with supply chain.

“When you start in a start-up within this industry, you get a whole different view of problems, how they can be solved and how you want to grow a business… it was a great way to learn the industry from a grassroot level.”

[14.32] Grace’s growth and success at Fifth Wheel Freight, and what she learned along the way.

“Operations was my favorite. I love the carriers, they’re absolutely great – they’re more helpful than people think they are, you just have to listen to them!”

[18.51] Grace’s advice for people that might be eager to give supply chain a try, but are worried they don’t have the right education.

“If I was going to look at going back to school for something, I think I would stop myself first and say: ‘what part of the supply chain do I want to be a part of?’ – and find a way to shadow it.”

[24.15] Why Grace chose to pivot her career in 2021 and take the leap across to media to join FreightWaves, as a writer and host.

“I took a risk on something I didn’t know I would love so much.”

[30.39] As a writer and host, one question Grace wishes people would ask her.

[35.10] Why Grace founded The Shark Start, and why helping others is so important to her.

“If, as an industry, we said ‘how about we scrap these non-competes and we change them into partnerships?’ How quickly could we have our businesses grow, and have each of us winning?”

[40.13] Grace’s thoughts on why we are still not seeing enough women in supply chain leadership roles, and her advice for how we tackle the problem.

 

RESOURCES AND LINKS MENTIONED:

 

You can connect with Grace over on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram.

If you enjoyed this episode, why not check out another woman in media, Marina Mayer. In episode 245, Marina talks all about her role as editor-in-chief of Food Logistics and Supply & Demand Chain Executive, as well as her views on mentorship and experiences as a working mother.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

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