MHD catches up with Hayley Jarick, Chief Executive Officer of the Supply Chain Sustainability School about working for an organisation that aligns with your own personal values as well as the importance of leadership, mentorship and advocacy.
When did you first start working in supply chain or logistics?
In 2004 I started working for BlueScope Steel’s export department in Port Kembla NSW. I prepared financial and shipping documentation for steel coils mostly in containers. It was a great way for me to put my undergraduate degree to use (University of Wollongong, Bachelor Commerce majoring in International Business & Legal Studies). I learnt so much in that role about the risks of international trade and how unforgiving a typo can be on a bill of lading!
How long have you been in your current role?
I just celebrated my one-year anniversary as CEO of the Supply Chain Sustainability School. I was on the Advisory Board of the School when it launched five years ago and was delighted to come back with a new hat on.
What does a standard day for you look like?
I always kick off the day with a cup of tea checking emails and making any last-minute changes to my calendar. The rest of the day is then a mixed bag. As I manage a small not-for-profit it usually includes a bit of everything from finance, customer service, sales, business development, marketing, media, website development, copywriting, editing, graphic design, video editing, training resource development, event management, presenting face-to-face or online, governance, reporting, strategic planning, constitutional reviews, facilitating meetings… basically whatever is needed.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I think every step in my career has enabled me to be where I am today, so I am grateful for all my experiences, even those that weren’t so fun to live through. A moment that really stands out in my mind was working in sustainability for the first time. It’s where I realised how much more I could get from a job when working ‘for purpose’ and not just ‘for profit’. Until that point, I was content with trading my time and expertise for cash. I think I also misinterpreted the values that others thought I should have as my own. If you get the chance, I recommend working in role that allows you to align your personal values with an organisation’s values.
What do you like about working in the logistics or supply chain industry?
We are in an era when ‘transparency’ and ‘partnerships’ are driving innovation and sustainable competitive advantage. Logistics or supply chain departments are, more than ever, pivotal to the future success or failure of organisations. Decisions we make daily have economic, social and environmental implications that we need be aware of, measure and mitigate in real time. It’s an incredible responsibility but also an exciting place to be!
What do you like about working at the Supply Chain Sustainability School?
I am incredibly lucky to work with amazing individuals from leading companies daily. Together the impact we make on the building and construction industry is incredibly positive but what I find the most amazing is the collective spirit in which it has been developed. The School is free to use and exists solely from the generosity and dedication of industry leaders who annually put their time and money where their mouth is and make sustainable knowledge freely available for everyone big and small. It warms my heart to hear that small family businesses have been able to grow and win tenders that they wouldn’t have thought to bid on before upskilling through the School. There will always be laggards who don’t want to evolve but for those who want to lead the charge there is no excuse for ignorance. In decades to come I can look back on what I am doing now and proudly tell my children and grandchildren that I helped make their world better.
What do initiatives like the Women in Industry Awards mean to you?
As a young woman working in male dominated industries, I struggled to navigate my way through the impossible expectations set by most men I worked with and for. I would not be where I am today without the leadership, mentoring and advocacy of women (and a few men) who challenged me when I needed it, encouraged me when others wouldn’t and congratulated me when I succeeded. The Women in Industry Awards is a way of celebrating outstanding women and I hope they also motive young women to push through the challenges when their networks may not be as encouraging. We all have the power to positively influence women in our industry. It doesn’t take much to give a complement when someone deserves one, submit a nomination to let them know you noticed their contribution, encourage someone to apply for that job or take the time to ‘like’ their LinkedIn post before you scroll past it.
How does the Supply Chain Sustainability School demonstrate diversity?
Diversity is built into social sustainability along with fairness, inclusion and respect. It’s great to be part of project and company initiatives that strive for gender, sexuality, ability and cultural diversity not only in workforces but also in procurement choices. Personally, I think it’s important to call out a lack of diversity when I see it and push people to have the difficult conversations that are needed to enable change.
What are you most looking forward to in your upcoming professional life?
I am most looking forward to being surprised by what might happen. Most of the roles I have loved did not exist ten years before I was in them, so my career plan is more fluid than dreaming of a great role. At my core I love general management and continually learning new and old ways of a broad array of skills. Where I thrive is joining the dots in innovative ways.
I’d like to join more Boards where my experience and skills can diversify thinking. A lot has been said about gender targets on boards and I’ve often been asked if I would accept a role knowing I was the ‘token woman’. My answer has always been yes for a couple of reasons. Firstly, no one asks if a man would accept a role knowing his gender afforded him privileges that enabled his recruitment or selection. Secondly, I think it’s an incredible privilege to work with an organisation that has acknowledged their lack of diversity and has taken the first step to remedy that imbalance.