Millennials are focused, engaged, enthused and committed to working in supply chain management; supply chain represents a sought-after, dynamic and rewarding long-term career choice for professionals in their 20s and 30s.
These are among the key findings of APICS’s Millennials in Supply Chain research report, conducted by Peerless Research Group in conjunction with Supply Chain Management Review (SCMR) and the American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC).
“The results of the report are eye-opening, especially when compared to the more senior supply chain professionals in leadership positions, who were part of a previous study from APICS and SCMR in 2016,” said APICS CEO, Abe Eshkenazi.
“We see that more millennials started their career in supply chain, are moving around less, are highly satisfied with their jobs and see more opportunities for advancement in the field.”
The report shows millennials have a diverse interest in activities that span the end-to-end supply chain. Notably, the area that holds most appeal, supply chain design and planning, is a role that touches all areas of supply chain.
The millennials surveyed also said they find their careers personally rewarding. Eighty-one percent feel they can make a difference in the supply chain field, 87 percent believe working in the field will help with their personal growth and development, and 88 percent agree that there are opportunities for advancement within the field.
Diversity topped the list of what millennials consider most important. Eighty-five percent noted that supply chain involves a diverse workforce and encompasses people of all types, which additional findings that more women are now entering the field also reflect. Respondents were roughly two-thirds male (61 percent) and one-third female (39 percent), compared to the 2016 survey of senior supply chain leaders, in which 76 percent of respondents were men while only 24 percent were women.
However, just as earlier research of senior managers in 2016 showed a pay gap between males and females, there is a gender wage gap among millennials. Men and women start at roughly the same salary, but the disparity grows larger as they move up the career ladder.
This disparity is chief among complaints from millennials surveyed, along with frustration around the attitude towards millennials by older generations in their organizations and a disconnected feeling from the big picture or a lack of purpose in the workplace.
“Despite some noted frustrations, millennials are continuous learners and fast movers who are eager to advance,” Eshkenazi concluded. “To address the ongoing skills gap, industry expectations, priorities and communication styles must adapt to and embrace the different needs of this younger generation. Millennials are growing and learning on the job in an era of lean, optimized, end-to-end supply chains and are critical to the ongoing transformation of the industry.”
Results of the survey are based on 676 respondents working in supply chain management who were pre-qualified for being between the ages of 22 and 37, born between 1980 and 1995. At a 95 percent confidence level, results are projectable at a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percent.