228: Women In Supply Chain™, Donna Wilczek

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In today’s episode of Women In Supply Chain™, I’m joined by Donna Wilczek: innovator, business leader, tech strategist and inventor.

Donna is a SaaS technology executive who, over the course of her 20 year career, has worked at major names like IBM and Accenture. As well as currently serving as the senior vice president of product strategy and innovation at Coupa Software and on the board of Optimizely, a digital experience platform, Donna is also an inventor and technology innovator.

Today Donna will be talking to us about her career so far; her passion for tech; her innovative spirit and talent for invention; and she’ll be sharing her experiences as a woman in the industry, and her words of advice for all of the women following in her footsteps.



Apex Logistics are proud to sponsor Let’s Talk Supply Chain’s Women In Supply Chain™ podcast and blog series. Our leadership team actively works to empower an industry as diverse as our workforce with a focus on inclusion, and we’re passionate about promoting the voices of women leaders to drive visibility around their achievements. Find out more over on the Apex Logistics website.



[05.35] Donna’s background and how her natural curiosity and interest in continuous improvement led her to a career in tech.

“I was able to join the field at a really interesting time of change… I loved the notion that we would be creating a new frontier and trying to figure it out.”

[07.11] How Donna’s early career and experiences at IT brands like Accenture and IBM fuelled her curiosity; and how the industry has changed.

“When I joined Coupa, the company was fully 100% cloud, and even 10 years ago, that was a very difficult conversation to have with IT organizations!”

[09.59] Donna’s role as senior vice president of Product Strategy and Innovation at Coupa.

“We think ‘how would it work, if we were able to do anything!’ And that is the most thrilling part of my role. We’re not limited by anything, other than our creativity and imagination.”

[12.07] Why diversity and inclusion is so important in the workplace.

“We have a saying at Coupa: ‘none of us is as smart as all of us!’”

[13.28] How Coupa has changed over the last 10 years, Donna’s pride and excitement in playing a part in helping them to scale and go public – and why it’s important to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

[16.40] Donna’s new role as a board member at Optimizely, a closer look at what they do and the key trends of responsive experimentation and personalization.

“Optimizely is a recognition that the customer experience is now a digital experience.”

[19.07] How Donna came to secure a board position, and her advice for other’s looking to explore a similar position.

[22.55] Donna’s talent for invention, why it’s important for her to nurture her creative side and how she supports other’s in gaining their own patents and protecting their work.

“The patents from my history show that I was able to take something, look at it differently and then do something special with it.”

[26.25]  Donna’s experiences as a woman in the industry, and how she helps to echo minority voices.

[30.41] The mentors that have helped to inspire and support Donna throughout her career.

[31.26] What the future holds for Donna, and for innovation and collaboration at Coupa.

[33.13] Donna’s words of advice to all of the women following in her footsteps.



You can connect with Donna over on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

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