The Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida teamed up with Global Supply Chain Institute at the University of Tennessee and Ryder System, Inc., a transportation services provider, to create a new supply chain badge. To earn the badge, Girl Scouts attended a virtual event showing how Girl Scout Cookies move through each part of the supply chain. They also virtually met women who work in the supply chain and heard about what it’s like to work in their positions.
The supply chain badge is one of several STEM-based badges that Girl Scouts can earn. Encouraging girls and young women to learn about industries like the supply chain can open up doors for them as they get older and choose a career path. Currently, the supply chain industry is heavily male-dominated at all levels.
In 2020, 17 percent of chief supply chain officers were women – an increase of six percent over the previous year. However, women remain underrepresented in the supply chain. The efforts of the Girl Scouts could help change that.
Misty Parshall, assistant controller at Millwood, is the leader of her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. She and her troop have been working on a variety of science and technology badges to help pique the girls’ interest in those fields.
“I do think there are several great badges out there for the girls that are moving towards engineering and logistics,” Parshall said. “We did work on the automotive badges and discussed division of labor and manufacturing assembly lines.”
Her troop also plans to run experiments with a model car that they built.
“We just put together an extensive model car and are going to test it at our next meeting,” she said. “We will add weight to it, remove weight from it, go through different terrains and document our findings, just like scientists would.”
Girls and young women who learn about STEM topics when they’re young are more likely to go into such fields as they enter the workforce. That’s a major opportunity for the supply chain industry, which is experiencing a skills shortage due to rapidly changing technology and job roles. Women who occupy predominantly male positions sometimes face stigmas that they are less qualified to do the same work as men. However, women, including those at Millwood, are proving those stigmas wrong, and they are more likely than ever to occupy a position that would have traditionally been held by a man.
The new supply chain badge is one part of an increasing trend to encourage girls to study science and technology. The Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida plan to roll out this badge to other local chapters throughout the year, and hopefully more young girls across the country will have access to the lessons over time as well.