Welcome to the sixth episode of our brand-new show, Blended.
Blended is all about opening up conversations and giving the mic to all of the underrepresented voices in our industry – women, the LGBTQIA+ community, people of colour, those with disabilities, whether they’re visible or hidden, and many more.
Today in Episode 6, ‘My Journey,’ I’m joined by a group of amazing supply chain professionals who are opening up and sharing their personal stories with us – their experiences of being a woman, a person of colour, an indigenous person. And they’re going to really shine a light for us on how those formative experiences have impacted their lives and careers, and made them into the person they are today.
IN THIS EPISODE WE DISCUSS:
[00.34] Introductions to our Blended panellists.
- Devon – Founder of SheNative, Entrepreneurship & Business Skill Development Facilitator, Coach & Mentor
- Shay – President & Managing Partner at Allegiant Logistics
- Mike – Founder of Procurement Foundry and Managing Partner of AMPlify Resources Group
- Tzvete – Investment Banking Analyst (Stout) and Founder of Ecosystem
- Adeola (Addy) – Director of Additive Manufacturing Solutions at Desktop Metal
“Diversity and inclusion is more than a catchphrase. It’s direct action and opportunities for people that look like me.” Shay
[09.23] How Devon’s experiences drove her to shine a light on the common traumas of indigenous women and found SheNative, to inspire and support others.
“Indigenous women are some of the most disadvantaged women in Canada – we’re five times more likely to go missing and to be murdered; we’re 3% of Canada’s population, yet 30% of the prison population.”
[16.51] Shay’s ‘rags to riches’ childhood, and how that journey shaped the woman she is today.
“Starting a business will expose a lot of your trauma, and people don’t always talk about that.” Shay.
[22.53] Why Mike’s experiences led him towards helping others and creating Procurement Foundry, a community for people in the industry to come together, learn and grow.
“The people that are willing to expose their backgrounds and do a deep search into themselves to figure out where they came from, can ultimately say ‘now I know who I am today.’”
[30.04] How Addy’s experience of growing up in Nigeria instilled her with an intense desire to succeed.
“Since I started my career, I was always the only woman, and the only black person – there was never anybody who looked like me.”
[41.43] Why Tzvete’s multicultural upbringing and ambitious parents, as well as her desire to inspire her younger sister, were the key to her success.
“Being in such an international culture at a young age opened my perspective and showed me that there are so many different types of cultures and customs – and it taught me how to adapt.”
[50.20] The panellists reflections on young people in business.
- Lack of encouragement, low self-esteem and the importance of mentors
- Experience, knowledge, opportunity and giving the benefit of the doubt
- Inspiration, influence and visibility of positive role models
- Access to the right networks and communities
[1.06.11] The panellists take a closer look at diversity and inclusion.
- Conferences: a lack of diverse speakers, financial drivers and the emphasis on job titles
- Looking at diversity at a team level
- The issue with big business ticking diversity and inclusion boxes without truly committing to change
- The downstream impact of supplier diversity
- Barriers to becoming a diverse supplier, eg issues with long term sustainability, scaling and access to capital
[1.15.20] Creating meaningful change.
- Find your niche and be the best at what you do
- Build something for yourself, outside of the corporate environment
- The importance of diverse investors
- The importance of mentorship for diverse SME’s
[1.22.19] The panellists sum up their key piece of advice from today’s discussion.
- Diversity and inclusion only makes your company better: hear and respect their voices – Addy
- Put your money where your mouth is – engage with, and invest in, diverse businesses – Devon
- Just start – Mike
- Be aware – Tzvete
- Don’t be intimidated and once you’ve reached your destination, go back and carve out that path for others to follow – Shay
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