Brewing Female Leadership
In today’s DIVE In blog, Inge Keymolen, Director of Digital Transformation Logistics at AB InBev, shares her thoughts on diversity and inclusion, personal anecdotes, and advice to reach your goals in our “Fearless Females of Supply Chain” Blue Yonder Live. A Blue Yonder customer, Inge has over 20 years of experience in supply chain. Like so many of our other customers, her knowledge and expertise provide inspiration that allows us to build a more equitable and diverse world. She offers insight into her obstacles and how being yourself is the most vital ingredient for success.
Can you give us an overview of who you are?
I live in Belgium, I recently got married, and I have a dog. I started in the public sector and made a switch to the private sector by joining AB InBev 10 years ago. Today I am at my 6th position. It has changed every 2 years, so I keep on learning thanks to new challenges. I started as a first line manager of 20 people in a factory. According to my grandmother, it’s quite unique for a young lady with a university degree. Today I work in the transformation project department.
Could you give us a brief over of you career and what your observations of diversity and Inclusion, specifically towards female leadership?
I think we still miss women in leadership positions, and we should have more examples. My advice is “don’t wait for it to come”. Look for those examples, what are the capabilities you
look for? What are you good at? Which ones do you need to improve? And for those, you should look for an example, mentor or even a coach and learn from them.
One example is Michelle Obama: She has been able to empower the youth as a first Lady but also after leaving the Office. She speaks about the power to choose. Also, I have read a book called “Lean in” and it is basically about grabbing opportunities without hesitation. One important point is to encourage women to make decision without overthinking.
What do you think could be done in order to remove some of the remaining challenges we do experience while working towards a more diversified workforce with regards to gender equality?
I think it’s a broad question, but I would like to share 2 key takeaways:
1. Awareness: Gender gap is reality and let’s acknowledge it. We need to act and be aware of it.
2. It’s a journey: Ideally, it’s part of the baseline. We shouldn’t even be talking about it. But I think it’s an evolution and depends on where you are. For example, my manager once doubted me applying for a job when I was still early in my career. However, it gave me even more confidence. At the time (15 years ago) I didn’t see it as gender inequality but in today’s context, it is. Also, let’s remember the fights we had to do to get the rights and privileges we have today (referring to the right to vote in Belgium in 1948). We need to keep on fighting for it.
What advice would you like to share with other women out there, that might help them reach their goals and become boundary pushers themselves, choosing to challenge?
Based on my experience: Dare to make mistakes, it’s okay, remain curious and keep on learning. Start being comfortable with being uncomfortable, go get those opportunities!
Watch Blue Yonder’s recent LinkedIn Live session with Inge Keymolen.