ANN DRAKE IS A TRAILBLAZER. As chairman and
chief executive officer of DSC Logistics, a provider
of supply chain and logistics services, she was one of
the first female top executives in a still male-dominated industry. In 2012, she received the prestigious
Distinguished Service Award from the Council of
Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)—
the first woman to receive the award since it was
launched 47 years earlier, in 1965.
While Drake appreciates and values such recognitions, she has no desire to be out front on her own.
Rather, her aim is to help other women advance into
the ranks of business executives and corporate leaders.
Although she has focused much of her effort in the area
of supply chain management, through AWESOME
(Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain
Operations, Management and Education), the organization she founded in 2013, she has long been an
advocate for women’s leadership in any field of endeavor. Active in the Committee of 200, an international
association of women business leaders, she’s also a
charter member of the Paradigm for Parity (P4P) coalition, a recently formed group of executives who pledge
to achieve gender parity in their companies’ corporate
Supply Chain Quarterly spoke with Drake about why
she is a champion for women, what’s been achieved so
far, and what she hopes the future will bring.
What motivates you to devote your time and effort to
issues not only beyond your own company but also
beyond your industry?
I see the work I’m involved in outside the company
as a platform for improving the world we live in. For
example, I was appointed by the House Committee on
Transportation and Infrastructure to be on a national
commission on the future design of the U.S. interstate
highway system. Another example is the Northwestern
University Transportation Center. I’ve been involved
in that for about 15 years. It’s so valuable being
involved in leading-edge thinking on transportation
and logistics and working with other companies on
I have been involved since the early ’90s in several
roles beyond the logistics industry, like the Committee
of 200, which is a women’s business leadership organization. That’s been a source of inspiration, how-to
information, and friendships across all kinds of businesses. We learn and grow as leaders together. That has
been such a wonderful resource for me, as have other
groups I’m involved in. Now, as I’m advancing in my
career, I want to help other women to advance and step
up to leadership roles.
What made you decide to launch AWESOME, and
have the conditions that prompted that decision
[A CONVERSATION WITH A CSCMP MEMBER]
Ann Drake is on a mission: to help
qualified women—in supply chain
management and beyond—move into
the top ranks of business leadership.