LLamasoft, the leading provider of AI-powered supply chain analytics software to the world’s leading brands is proud to announce that two of its executives, Kristen Daihes, Group Vice President, and Neelima Ramaraju, Senior Director of Global Impact, are named to the first ever Supply & Demand Chain Executive (SDCE) Women in Supply Chain Award. The magazine celebrates its 20-Year Anniversary with the introduction of this new award designed specifically for women leaders in the supply chain industry whose accomplishments, mentorship and examples set a foundation for women in all levels of a company’s supply chain network.
“We received over 200 entries for this new award, entries that were submitted from a combination of men and women. This proves that our industry needed an award like this, especially in conjunction with Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s 20-year anniversary,” says Marina Mayer, editor-in-chief of Supply & Demand Chain Executive and Food Logistics. “According to Gartner’s 2020 Women in Supply Chain Survey, 17% of chief supply chain officers are now women – a 6% increase compared to 2019. This award resembles females supporting other female leaders; men supporting their female counterparts. It resembles the future. It represents growth, evolution and community. And, that future shows that it’s a great time to be a part of the supply chain industry. So, congratulations to these top female leaders. I look forward to seeing what else you do to grow the supply chain industry.”
Kristen Daihes, Group Vice President at LLamasoft is a champion for the development and advancement of woman in the supply chain function, beginning with her undergraduate days at Purdue University. She was part of a research team within Purdue’s Women in Engineering Program that created initiatives to support the recruitment and retention of women in engineering and published research on these programs that was shared with other universities to further expand opportunities. In her early days at Procter & Gamble, Daihes was part of the women’s development network for P&G’s Family Care Global Business Unit and spearheaded a mentoring initiative that was rolled out within the organization to champion the development of women for progression into leadership roles.
At her roles with Unilever, Wrigley/Mars, and SC Johnson, she was active in professional organizations such as AWESOME (Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management and Education). During her time at Opex Analytics and LLamasoft, Daihes championed the goal for at least 50% of candidates for any open roles to be female or diverse candidates – and if the chosen candidate was not a female or diverse, there was an intentional conversation on whether unconscious bias played a role. In one year, this initiative resulted in more than 50% of new hires that year being female or diverse candidates. Today, she is just as committed as ever to supporting diversity efforts within the LLamasoft organization and is taking part as a mentor to influence the advancement of women leaders in the organization. Daihes is actively involved in sponsoring and delivering events in partnership with TechGirlz for middle school girls in underserved communities within Atlanta, Chicago, and New Jersey to ensure girls in these communities are exposed to learning software coding while being actively encouraged to pursue futures in supply chain.
Neelima Ramaraju, Senior Director of Global Impact at LLamasoft leads their Global Impact practice and was recognized as a SDCE Provider Pro to Know in 2015 for her work improving healthcare supply chains across the world – with a focus on the most vulnerable supply chains in low- and middle-income countries. Her work has expanded to include sustainable supply chains and community engagement; Ramaraju has a strong belief that supply chains can improve and save lives. Her work brings cutting-edge technology and best practices to people that would traditionally be without access to such resources. She focuses on the fourth key stakeholder for any business – the community.
Ramaraju is the founder, champion, and executive sponsor for the employee-led resource groups at LLamasoft. These groups include the Women in LLama Leadership (WiLL), Green Team, and LLamaCARE (LLamasoft Community Advocacy, Reach, and Education). She oversees the vision and development of these global groups, adding value to the communities in which LLamasoft employees work and live, and provides leadership development opportunities to others. Ramaraju also acts as a mentor to several women both within her organization and to recent grads from her alma mater, Georgia Tech.
“I could not be prouder of my colleagues, Kristen and Neelima, and the much-deserved recognition by SDCE for the Women in Supply Chain Award,” says Razat Gaurav, Chief Executive Officer of LLamasoft. “They are tremendous positive role models in our organization, and they inspire me with their leadership and tireless efforts on our mission to improve lives and organizations around the world. Their work does not stop with providing our software solutions and expertise to the largest organizations in the world; they are both committed to the important work of providing resources to the young girls and women to develop the next generation of talent who will come after them in the supply chain industry. We all know supply chains – and the women working in them – power the world. Congratulations to Kristen and Neelima!”
Check out Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s website at www.sdcexec.com for the full list of all of the 2020 Women in Supply Chain winners. The 2020 Women in Supply Chain award will appear in SDCE’s September issue. To learn more about LLamasoft and the projects Kristen and Neelima are working on visit www.llamasoft.com.