"Never let fear get in the way of getting what you want"
Heather - Manager DSD Logistics
Monday, July 17, 2023
You have been with MDLZ for over 5 years now. Can you share your career journey so far?
I started with the company in Ontario, CA at a DSD branch as a Logistics Supervisor. I applied to be the Manager, DSD Logistics at the Batavia, NY branch, and being from NY, I wanted to make my way back home. During my time in Batavia, the Montgomery, NY facility was without a manager, and I spent several months traveling back and forth to assist. It was after a couple of months at the facility that I realized that I wanted to manage this larger facility. After applying and traveling back and forth for a bit, I landed here in Montgomery, NY as the Manager, DSD Logistics.
In your current role, you are responsible for managing the Montgomery DSD branch. In general, the ratio between men and women is uneven in this type of role. What advice would you give to women looking to get into this field and any tips you have learnt along the way?
Never let fear get in the way of getting what you want. Never allow yourself to feel inferior to your peers, even though some have been doing this for much longer than you, there is always room to grow and improve. Those that stop looking to grow and improve are those that get left behind. Do not take a no as a failure, take it as an opportunity to challenge yourself and do not be afraid to ask what you could have done differently that could have swayed that "no" to a "yes". I stand by the only silly questions are those that do not get asked, ask questions, even if they seem silly, you may never get the answer if you do not ask the question. Last but not least, never give up on what you want, it may be a journey versus a sprint, but the end result will be worth it.
You have been involved in the MDLZ Supply Chain Women’s Employee Resource Group for over 2 years. What motivated you to join and volunteer to be part of the SCW Leadership Team?
I am of the mindset that you share and pass on your knowledge, there is nowhere to grow if you do not leave a successor to fill your spot. I struggled early in my career as it was much more male dominated back then, and I wanted to make sure that other women in Logistics did not have to go through the same struggles. Women are best at lifting each other up and cheering each other on, that is why I joined. This year I decided I wanted to be part of the leadership team to help build and grow the program. I chose the communications pillar as it is the heart of the group, we have the ability to get the information to the right audience at the right time. There is no better way to build and grow than through communication. I am looking forward to seeing where the group goes over the next few years. As we continue to see women move into Logistics this group will be the champion that helps make them feel at home and like anything is possible, well because it is!
Allyship is about creating a more equitable society and workplace for all. Why do you believe allyship is important specifically for women in Supply Chain?
If I did not have an ally in my corner throughout my career, I do not think I would be where I am today. It is important to support and champion one another. Today women in Logistics are becoming more common, but there are areas that men still dominate, I do not want any women to feel like they cannot compete. As our internship program has just come to a close, I see these young women fresh from college looking a bit intimidated by their male peers so I try to be an ally to them to show them that you can be assertive and work toward what you want, while maintaining relationships with peers no matter gender. There has been a momentous change in supply chain over the last several years, and I strongly believe much of this has to do with the change in perspective that women leaders are bringing to the table. We need to prepare the next generation of women leaders to take our place and go further than we did.