Celebrating International Women’s Day 2024

Text reads "International Women's Day" and shows 5 women leaders from Overhaul on a blue and pink background.

Every year, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8th to honor women’s social, economic, cultural, and political achievements. This year’s theme is inspire inclusion, which is something Overhaul takes seriously. To honor the day, we asked several of our women leaders to tell us about their supply chain challenges and triumphs. We also asked them to share advice for how we as a community can better support women in the industry.  

Here’s what they had to say: 

Loraine Bout, Director Global Supply Chain Intelligence  

Loraine Bout started her career in the Dutch government and has been working in the security realm for twenty years. In 2017, she wanted to try something completely different, so she stepped out of her government role and entered supply chain security. 

“I’ve always been interested in security,” she said. “I love that combination of risk mitigation with data-centered decision making. Whether you’re a pharma company or tech company or consumer goods, security is basically everywhere, so it makes it interesting. You also need different types of people with different types of backgrounds, and the international aspect of it all is amazing to me.” 

During her time at Overhaul, Loraine has strived to remove silos and look at data from a broader perspective. 

“I try to make it holistic and not work [solely] within that small realm of Intelligence,” she said. “I’ve also built a very strong network with people in government, NGOs, corporate, and colleges, and I always try to tie that into my work. My biggest accomplishment is creating connections; these connections have led to new opportunities and innovative solutions. A concrete example of this was getting our company to the number one spot regarding actionable cargo theft data in EMEA.”  

Loraine brings this mindset into all that she does, and she actively works to find solidarity and commonality within diverse groups. She views different cultures and ways of thinking as essential to a productive work environment.  

“When women have different thought processes and look at things in a different way, that opens up new potential,” she said. “I would love to see more women joining and being present and actually stepping on that stage and representing.”  

Loraine believes a strong supply chain must be inclusive of all genders and gender expressions; although women remain underrepresented in the supply chain, she is hopeful that this will change.  

“One thing I noticed during recent conferences is that more younger women are joining,” she said. “I also see that women are starting to be more comfortable with their femininity in the industry. You don’t have to be one of the guys. You can be you and thrive.”   

Tatiana Leite, Operations Manager (Brazil) 

Tatiana Leite is the Operations Manager at Overhaul and has worked in the supply chain sector for 23 years. During that time, she has quickly become recognized by customers and team members for her leadership, knowledge, and ability to generate solutions. 

Over the past 10 years, she’s seen the industry grow increasingly more welcoming and accepting. As she said, “Companies are recognizing the importance of having a diverse workforce and are creating policies and programs to support diversity and inclusion. Furthermore, more women are occupying leadership positions and are being recognized for their skills and competencies, regardless of gender.” 

However, this doesn’t mean her experience has been free of challenges. 

“One of the main [challenges] was the lack of female representation in leadership positions and the lack of professional development opportunities for women,” she said. “I also faced gender biases and stereotypes that often prevented me from being taken seriously or being considered for certain projects or positions.” 

Going forward, she hopes women in the supply chain continue to uplift one another by creating support networks and mentorships. 

“It’s important for women to connect and share their experiences and knowledge to help each other grow professionally,” she said. “Together, we can create a more inclusive and diverse industry for everyone.” 

Orla O’Connor, People & Culture Manager 

Orla O’Connor has been in the supply chain industry for four years. During that time, she’s seen a greater focus on inclusive hiring practices along with increased awareness and advocacy for inclusion. 

“There’s for sure a greater emphasis on eliminating gender bias in recruitment processes,” she said, “which has led to fairer hiring decisions overall in contrast to prior years. On top of that, thankfully there is a continual growing awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace where we can see organizations valuing diversity more than ever, and they’re advocating for gender equality as one of those diversity factors!” 

While this is all cause for celebration, the supply chain still presents several hurdles for women who are looking to navigate their professional and personal responsibilities. For example, the industry can be lacking in work-life balance support and the fair management and implementation of family-related policies. 

“Flexible working policies and family friendly policies can truly help aid women in not only the supply chain industry, but in every industry,” Orla said. “They can enable women to get the balance right without having to experience guilt or pressure, or go to extreme lengths to accommodate their multi-faceted life responsibilities.” 

As she continues her journey in the supply chain, Orla believes that women will continue to play a key role in bettering the industry and making it more equitable.  

“Facilitating networking events to promote relationship-building between women and creating mentorship opportunities is something I think can be incredibly effective,” she said. “There’s something truly empowering about women supporting women!” 

To this end, Orla recently played a significant role in our 2023/2024 annual global performance review cycle. She views these review cycles as not only contributing to Overhaul’s success but also aligning with the company’s broader goals of promoting diversity and inclusion, particularly for women in business. 

“I hope my efforts and involvement in setting up our annual global performance reviews reflects my dedication to fostering engagement and fairness within the company,” she said. “These review cycles provide a level playing field for all employees to be assessed and receive feedback in the exact same format and style regardless of seniority, gender, or any other diversity factor. They not only help influence our company’s culture but also contribute to the professional development and well-being of our employees. Being a component of that is something I feel truly proud to have accomplished.” 

Karin Stevens, EVP & Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)  

For nearly a decade, Karin Stevens has helped enterprise organizations solve supply chain resiliency challenges through technology and innovation. While working for Overhaul, her biggest achievement has been contributing to the go-to-market strategy that supported our expansion from a pre-revenue, US-only company to a global presence working alongside Fortune 500 enterprises. 

“Scaling the company from 10 people to 600+ people and establishing a brand identity in new markets has and continues to require innovative marketing strategies, deep market research, and effective cross-functional collaboration,” she said. “Successfully launching our products globally and the positive impact on our customers’ resiliency strategies has been incredibly rewarding!” 

During her career, she’s worked with multiple organizations that prioritize diversity and boast solid female leadership across various levels. This environment has enabled her to thrive professionally while also underscoring the importance of inclusive practices in fostering innovation and growth. 

“Despite this, I am acutely aware that our industry still grapples with achieving adequate female representation, particularly in senior leadership positions,” she said. “It is imperative for organizations within our industry to not only champion diversity in their rhetoric but to embed it into the fabric of their operational and strategic frameworks.” 

Fortunately, in the past few years, Karin has noticed the industry moving toward inclusivity, with more women being hired, promoted, and supported in their careers. Technology advancements have also democratized access to information and resources, enabling more women to contribute to and lead in the supply chain industry. 

To further promote inclusion in the supply chain, Karin encourages women to participate in mentorship programs that foster a multidisciplinary approach to learning and leadership. She also champions virtual think tanks where women from around the world can collaborate on supply chain challenges, share insights, and develop global strategies. 

“By focusing on a few innovative solutions, I believe we can create a more dynamic and inclusive supply chain industry,” she said. “This could include establishing women-led innovation labs within companies to explore new technologies and sustainable practices in the supply chain. It might also mean organizing annual showcases to highlight the achievements and innovations led by women in the industry. Together, these initiatives will provide a platform for recognition and inspire future generations.”  

Itzel Gutierrez, NAC3 Manager 

Itzel Gutierrez has been part of the supply chain industry for nine years. As NAC3 Manager, she empowers her employees to lead great teams and create an environment of respect. She also provides ideas on how to create a better platform and strategies to help improve customer service day to day. 

“As leaders, we have the responsiblity to empower other people,” she said. “One task I’m responsible for is empowering other people to lead—it’s easy to create bosses, but leaders are complicated. You need to give them the correct tools and training. With women, it can be even more complicated because we have to fight for better opportunities, and sometimes, this leads us to fight each other. But we are all in the same boat, and trying to sink someone else’s boat means sinking your own.” 

Over the years, Itzel faced barriers at several companies due to being a woman. The managers at these companies were all men, and they embraced a macho mindset that was unwelcoming and limiting to women. 

“There was a point at which you couldn’t keep growing,” Itzel said. “For example, at my last job, my boss said, ‘This is the highest achievement you can reach here, so you have to start looking for another job.’ But at Overhaul, it doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man, you have the same rights to achieve new goals or work for new departments, and that’s great.” 

Another thing Itzel appreciates about Overhaul is the opportunity it’s given her to work with so many other women, both in the office and as customers. She believes it’s easy for women to form relationships forged in mutual respect and that these relationships are key to inspiring others.  

“It’s important to inspire girls to achieve their goals and dreams,” she said. “We can reach a better place and situation, it just depends on us and our hard work and attitude. In my case, I was one of the first two people in Overhaul Mexico. It’s never easy being a pioneer, but the result was amazing, and we’ve created a big family.” 

Inspire Inclusion

International Women’s Day 2024 is a time to appreciate the women who have helped shape the supply chain industry. However, a single day isn’t nearly enough, and we should be inspiring inclusion all year round.

Overhaul is different on purpose, which means we value diversity and inclusivity in all that we do. Our company wouldn’t be what it is today without our women leaders. Together, we can work towards a more equitable and inclusive industry–and world–for everyone.

Interested in working together? Let's see if we align.

Tell Us More

Have a story to tell? Let us know how we can be part of it.

Let's Connect

Need to get in touch for support? We'll respond as quickly as we can.

Let's have a chat

Learn how we've helped 350+ Global Brands with Supply Chain Visibility and Risk.

Let's have a chat