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ASCM Insights

Ask ASCM: What Is a Supply Chain Career Really Like?


Editor’s note: ASCM is excited to launch a regular blog feature that answers reader questions! What’s on your mind? Submit your supply chain question to Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Rennie at If yours is selected, she’ll research the topic and share the answer each month in the ASCM Insights Blog. 

Reader T.B. asks: I have a daughter graduating high school this year who is interested in following in her dad’s footsteps with a supply chain career. I love my job, but I want to be sure I’m guiding her in the best possible direction. There are two issues I’m most interested in: reliable career advancement and diversity and inclusion. What can you tell me about supply chain job stability? And will it be difficult for a young woman to succeed in a traditionally male-dominated space? 

Rennie: To answer this question, I went straight to ASCM’s Senior Manager of Business Intelligence Matthew Talbert. I’ve worked with Matt for years, and he’s a highly skilled researcher. He also heads up ASCM’s annual Salary and Career Report, so I knew he’d have the latest data.  

First, he told me that ASCM research revealed that 95% of industry professionals kept their jobs during the pandemic — a time when many other industries were decimated. Plus, as the disruption continued and many experienced the Great Resignation, this also had little effect on our field. In fact, only 14% of supply chain professionals changed jobs in 2021, up just 1% from 2020. Perhaps most importantly to your daughter, nearly 90% would recommend the field as a fulfilling professional path for others. 

“When I jumped into the data analysis, I expected a spike in the number of people who changed jobs,” Matt told me. “I was surprised that the percentage of those who changed jobs was so low.” He believes the reason for this is likely concordant with a reported raise in salary. The latest round of data showed an overall 12% pay increase last year.  

I would also suggest that much of this is about supply chain professionals feeling fulfilled and rewarded in their careers. As ASCM CEO Abe Eshkenazi wrote in a recent weekly email, 70% of respondents rate their satisfaction as an 8 out of 10 or higher. 

Regarding your concerns about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in supply chain, I do think the field is heading in the right direction. I remember attending ASCM CONNECT Annual Conferences back in the early 2000s, and I would feel like the only woman on the expo floor. That’s happily no longer the case. Recent ASCM research shows the overall pay gap has steadily narrowed over the last five years; in particular, there’s greater pay equity for women in supply chain under age 39. All of that said, there’s still a long road ahead, as we continue to experience pay inequities for women over age 40.  

To hear straight from real women in supply chain, perhaps you and your daughter would like to check out this upcoming webinar. Hear from Claudia Freed, chief executive officer of EALgreen, and Karin Witton, global director of sustainability at Tosca, about their own inspiring supply chain journeys. 

Finally, I highly encourage you to share the ASCM Supply Chain Management Careers webpage with your daughter. It offers great advice about the skills, salary ranges and career paths of different supply chain roles; how to start a job search; insights into DEI in supply chain; and much more.  

Good luck to your daughter as she begins this exciting new chapter! 

P.S. ASCM is collecting data for this year’s Salary and Career Report. If you haven’t taken the survey yet, please contribute your perspectives by February 13. 

Submit your supply chain question by emailing Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Rennie at 

About the Author

Elizabeth Rennie Editor-in-Chief, SCM Now magazine, ASCM

Elizabeth Rennie is Editor-in-Chief at ASCM. She may be contacted at

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