A diverse audience of more than 130 women from executive level and middle managers, to early career professionals, entrepreneurs, and students gathered for the Women in Logistics Leadership WiLL to be EmPowerED conference, Friday, September 27, at the Fluor Corporation Sugar Land, Texas office. A unique Houston-based organization for experienced logistics professionals and those with careers related to logistics, Women in Logistics Leadership (WiLL) was organized to encourage aspiring leaders toward advancement through networking and mentoring.
Diana Davila, project director and branch manager for UTC Overseas, Inc. and founder of WiLL is a member of the Supply Chain and Logistics Technology Industry Advisory Board at the University of Houston. The idea for the conference originated with Davila who collaborated with a powerful team of women in the industry. The proceeds from the conference will provide a Mentor for Success scholarship for a female supply chain and logistics technology student. “Our twofold mission is to provide mentoring and networking opportunities. By allowing the conference proceeds to be utilized by a student moving into supply chain and logistics technology, we are further planting seeds to our future,” said Davila.
“When programs collaborate with industry amazing things happen that empower women to move ahead,” said Margaret Kidd, instructional assistant professor and program director for the UH supply chain and logistics technology program.
Panel members from the University of Houston explored the topic, “From Wall Street to Main Street: Strategies and Tools for Networking.” The experiences they shared were personal, reflective, and insightful. Panel organizer and moderator, Margaret Kidd said, “Each panelist anecdotally spoke from her heart with humility and a little humor. Their real stories had an incredible impact.” Human resource development professor, Tomika Greer, reflected about her experience at a fish fry as an undergraduate engineering student which ultimately helped her to land multiple internships. Two supply chain and logistics professors also shared stories about their journeys. Originating from Greece, Maria Burns, spoke about studies in London, and experience interpreting negotiating behaviors from executives with the Baltic Exchange. Mary Henderson, recalled her experiences as a young engineer, learning to develop the right skills and rebranding herself. Margarita Perez Frinsco, UH College of Technology advancement director, spoke about a career pathway that moved from fund raising to an advocate for philanthropic engagement.
A special edition magazine, “Women in Supply Chain and Logistics,” the brainchild of Margaret Kidd, was introduced at the conference.