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Women leaders in Global Sourcing make a difference during COVID-19 disruption

Meet some of our female leaders in Global Sourcing that have been instrumental in procuring needed goods and services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shaw Industries

Sourcing is a fast paced, engaging profession; involved in optimizing costs and delivering tangible benefits to the organization. Those benefits include the negotiation of multi-million dollar contracts and engaging with suppliers that bring innovative products and solutions to our organization. During the COVID-19 outbreak, global sourcing has been instrumental in procuring needed goods and services and ensuring there are minimal disruptions to the supply chain. Individuals that can make the most of an opportunity to create value, thrive in this environment. Additionally, if we as an organization promote diversity of thought and background, we will thrive. A recent survey from ‘The Source’ revealed that 38% of leaders and managers in procurement are female, compared to the 30% across all professions. With 41% of Shaw’s Sourcing leadership being female and directly impacting the success of our organization, we are well positioned, but recognize growth and diversity of thought does not stop.

Shaw’s Women’s Innovation Network (WiN) would like to introduce you to a few  of the Women of Sourcing, as they share about their roles and why they chose sourcing as a career path.

Kim ColquetteKim-Colquette-(1).jpg

Tell us about how your role within Sourcing has evolved.
I joined Sourcing at Shaw in 2007 after holding a Sourcing position for another company for 7 years prior. It was a leap of faith for me, as I actually already had my MBA and took a paycut to come to Shaw. I had hopes of upward mobility and unique experiences. The open position offered to me was a “Procurement Specialist - Hardwood” and I decided to make the leap and join the Shaw team.  

My progression from a Procurement Specialist to a Sourcing Director (with three sourcing positions between them), has been challenging and fulfilling. It hasn’t been easy and things haven’t always gone my way. Sometimes I’ve been patient and sometimes I’ve been frustrated - but looking back, it was a great decision. Shaw has offered me opportunities to do amazing things and to have a fulfilling career that I truly love. 

What do you find most fulfilling about your role in Sourcing?
The people I work with. My team. The crazy Hard Surfaces team that I’ve grown to love. We disagree, debate, celebrate and laugh with each other. There’s nothing better than that. 

What piece of advice would you share with young women entering a Sourcing profession? Your career and your progression in the company is not always linear and it’s not always a clear path. You will have disappointments and have to face challenges - good things don’t come easy! When people say that real-life experience is important - believe them. Formal education gives a good foundation but make sure that you are open to learning from other’s experiences and creating your own.  

Katie HollowayKatie.jpg

Tell us about your path to Sourcing and your role today.
This summer I will be celebrating my 15th year with Shaw. My first 11 years were in the Samples department as a Business Support Manager. In this role I worked with Marketing and R&D, to launch new products and maintain existing product lines. I supported the soft surface business before transitioning to a role supporting the hard surface organization. These experiences helped me to realize that my passion was for the ever evolving, and growing, hard surface business. 

Four years ago, I accepted a role with our sourcing outsourced product team, as a Category Specialist working with sundries, turf, and our Houston Pro Shop. I  briefly transitioned into a role supporting the residential resilient business and have now resumed category specialist responsibilities for sundries and adhesives.  This role focuses on new product launches, innovation, and onboarding new suppliers.

What attracted you to Sourcing as a career path?
I see sourcing as being part of the front lines, helping to drive the newest and most innovative products to market. It intrigued me, and I wanted to be a part of that team. Not only that, but I feel relationship building is a key tool to have in your toolkit for business success, and what better area to hone that skill than working directly with our suppliers from all over the world, and our internal customers and partners from many different areas of the company.

What has been the greatest asset to you in your role today? 
My teammates have been a tremendous asset to me. We have a diverse team coming from different professional backgrounds, and different lengths of time in the sourcing department. I am continually learning something from one of them, and can rely on them to help me answer questions or solve a problem. 

Tammy NanceTammy.jpg

Tell us about how your role within Sourcing has evolved.
When I was hired 30 years ago, we were still typing up 5 part purchase orders and using the postal service to send copies to our suppliers, that is now done electronically. Technology has evolved tremendously during my time in Sourcing. My first role in Sourcing was as an assistant to the MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operations) Manager. I asked questions and sought growth opportunities, I was promoted into different roles through the years, eventually earning my current role as MRO Manager. 

As the MRO Manager of Global Sourcing, my team and I are responsible for procuring over $230 million dollars of products across the Shaw enterprise. This covers anything from office supplies to safety to electrical components. I also oversee the team that converts all of the requisitions to purchase orders in our Procurement Excellence group.  This group of 10 individuals contribute 100% to making Shaw the best company possible.  Working with PX and their individual goals, we strive to be the best business partner and create advantages so that Sourcing is perceived as a business enabler rather than a roadblock.  

What do you find most fulfilling about your role in Sourcing?
Watching an associate grow into their role and then branching out into other opportunities because they have confidence in themselves.

What piece of advice would you share with young women entering a Sourcing profession?
Never be afraid to be the only female in the room. Your ideas and creativity will take you far. It won’t take you 30 years to get there, but it will be worth the scenery along the way.

Holly RichardsHolly-Richards.jpg

Tell us about your path to Sourcing and your role today.
I graduated from Berry College in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. My career path began in Financial Services as a Claims Manager with Beaulieu of America. I accepted a position with Shaw Industries in 2002 in Financial Services as a Claims Analyst.  

The core values and reputation as a leader in the flooring industry is why I pursued a position with Shaw. In 2007, I accepted an entry-level position in Global Sourcing with the drive to seek out opportunities to gain the skill sets required to advance within the department. It was the best decision for my career. I pursued several advancement opportunities where I gained experience as a buyer in Outsourced Products, Raw Materials, Capital Equipment, and Construction Services.  

In my current role as a Sourcing Specialist III, I work closely with Corporate Engineering to manage the supply chain for Hard Surface Capital Equipment and Construction Services. When I walk through the Hard Surface Plants and I see the equipment that I helped source, it motivates me to keep learning so I can provide the most value to the business stakeholders I support. With every project, you praise your success and you learn from your mistakes. But what matters most to me is building relationships and earning people's trust.      

What core competency do you feel is most vital to success in your current role?
The competency that matters most is being able to build trusting relationships. If you consistently do what you say, you will build trust over time. Keeping commitments must be the essence of your behavior in all relationships. To be the most effective leader and positive influence, trust must be earned.   

If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
I would seek opportunities to get out of my comfort zone and lead others.  I have always gained self-confidence when trying new things. To be a good leader and to be able to coach and develop others, you need to be confident in your own skin. Another lesson that I did not embrace early in my career is the understanding that change is inevitable. It is important to avoid being scared of change and to embrace it with a good attitude.

Hannah StasenkoHannah.jpg

Tell us about your path to Sourcing and your role today.
I started with Shaw through the OMT program in June 2016. It was a wonderful experience and an efficient way to learn about several different areas of the company. After two rotations within the program, I ultimately began with Global Sourcing with a focus on outsourced resilient products. After obtaining a general understanding of the supply chain and the role sourcing plays, my scope was narrowed to solely concentrate on the commercial brands. 

In my current role as a category sourcing manager, my focus is on supporting the outsourced business for Patcraft and Shaw Contract. Some of my responsibilities include aligning with the brands on new product launches and ensuring those products are competitively priced. Another focal point of this role is understanding the business needs and effectively communicating them to the supply chain and suppliers in order to drive results.

What attracted you to Sourcing as a career path?
Outsourced hard surface is an exciting area to work in because of the rapid growth, especially in the resilient category. There are constant opportunities to learn and adapt as the business develops, so no day is the same. Also, being a part of a global supply chain was appealing because it’s both a challenging and unique opportunity. 

What has been the greatest asset to you in your role today?
One of the best aspects of sourcing is the wide view of the business that it provides. Typically, sourcing is a part of the go-to-market process all the way from qualifying a supplier to actually receiving finished goods in Shaw’s warehouses. Because of this, I get the opportunity to interact with several internal groups on a weekly basis like logistics, product development, quality, category management, and production planning. Making connections within these groups has helped accelerate my learning and broadened my knowledge of the entire business. 

Global Sourcing is rich with female talent and these are just five of the amazing female leaders that are influencing and delivering value to our organization.