September 30, 2020
KATIE KORANDAStaff Writer
Many people think of a distribution center as a place where most of the jobs are for men — unloading trucks, driving forklifts and operating pallet jacks.
But don’t tell that to Stephanie Jackson. She oversees the day-to-day operations for three Best Buy facilities, including our distribution center in San Francisco.
“I have never felt with Best Buy that I was being held back because I’m a woman,” she said. “I’ve always been encouraged to develop.”
Stephanie is one of a growing number of women who have found successful careers as leaders in Best Buy’s supply chain network. And we’re working hard to recruit and develop even more.
Almost 30% of our supply chain leaders are women, outpacing the industry. At some distribution centers, the number tops 50%.
Like Stephanie, Rebecca Musgrove is another one of the success stories. She has climbed the ladder during her 18 years at Best Buy and will soon celebrate her third anniversary as an operations manager at our distribution center in Ardmore, Oklahoma.
“If you have a dream, don’t be afraid to pursue it,” Rebecca said. “The sky’s the limit for women in our supply chain.”
Research shows that there’s still a big gender gap in the supply chain industry. Women account for about 39% of the total work force but a much smaller percentage of leadership roles.
Best Buy is bucking that trend. And that’s part of why we’ve been recognized on Forbes magazine’s list of America’s Best Employers for Women and Parity.org’s list of Best Companies for Women to Advance.
“It’s becoming a lot easier for women,” said Veronica Valdovinos, an area manager at our distribution center in Seattle. “There are fewer barriers and more opportunities. Times are changing.”
That doesn’t happen by chance. Best Buy has made a significant effort to enhance gender diversity within our supply chain network through recruiting and development initiatives.
We even changed our job requirements for certain manager roles to focus less on direct supply chain experience — which tended to favor men — and more on the types of leadership qualities that are the best indicators of success.
“You have to be intentional about it,” said Shauna Broderick, a senior director who oversees Best Buy’s distribution operations on West Coast. “How do we create that environment?”
One way she’s done that is through mentorships. Last year, Shauna started a Women’s Employee Resource Group for supply chain workers in her territory.
At first, she didn’t know what to expect.
“I remember after the first meeting that avenue to share stories was so impactful, we decided to grow it,” Shauna said. “Now we have twice as many members and are adding more structure. Handing off some of the responsibility empowers other women.”
Sasha Thomson has been an operations manager at our distribution center in Compton, California, since it opened four years ago. And Shauna helped her get there, even before an official mentorship program was formed.
Sasha, a 15-year Best Buy veteran, was working at a nearby store when Shauna approached her about the leadership opportunity.
“Shauna is the reason I decided to make my career change to supply chain,” Sasha said. “She was my first introduction to supply chain, and she was one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. It’s so important to have female representation.”
Shauna and other women in leadership also played an integral role for Stephanie, a 14-year Best Buy veteran who worked her way up from an hourly position.
“If you want to grow and develop, it’s here and you’re supported,” Stephanie said.
Click here to learn more about supply chain careers at Best Buy.