CIPS CEO David Noble kicked off this year’s CIPS Annual Conference with a speech celebrating the profession’s impact on the world stage. “There is no more global a profession currently,” he said.
And last week, former deputy prime minister Lord Michael Heseltine called for every government department to “recruit a chief procurement officer at competitive market rates”.
But we all know we need to work hard to make others aware that procurement and supply is a great profession to join. In an open letter to CIPS members, David Smith – whose tenure as the institute’s president ended last week – said he was “pleased and grateful” so many took up his challenge to promote its importance. “You have spoken at schools, colleges and universities; mentored the young and the ‘not so young’; set up schemes and created opportunities,” he said.
Supply Management has supported these efforts with a series of articles offering guidance on how to go about presenting in schools and set up graduate programmes. We have also just published the Guide to Procurement Careers, which has been sent to universities and sixth form colleges to raise awareness of a profession that pays well and offers an opportunity to influence corporate ethics.
Progress is being made. Last month, Scotland’s deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a partnership between the country’s government, the City of Glasgow College and CIPS, which will give 16-17 year olds direct pathways into the profession.
And in this issue, we include an interview with Francisca Nyamukapa – a purchasing officer at sugar processing company Tongaat Hulett in Zimbabwe – who has spent her own time and money travelling the country to inspire young people to enter the profession. Her efforts were praised by new CIPS president Paula Gildert, who we also interview in this issue. Gildert will – among other things – work to continue to raise the profile of the profession, as will we. Will you?