Women in Industry 2018 Spotlight — Shannon Mercil
To coincide with our annual Women in Industry issue, Supply House Times will spotlight a new PHCP-PVF supply chain female executive each day during the work week in the month of March. If you would like to be included or know of someone who should be included in our 2019 presentation, email Chief Editor Mike Miazga at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Company: Hajoca Corp. (Ardmore, Pennsylvania)
Position: Vendor Relations Manager (18 years)
How did you get in the industry?
I was introduced to Hajoca through a recruitment agency.
What do you like the most about your job/company you work for?
Hajoca consistently honors its core values which are fairness and caring, trust and respect, straight talk, and generous listening. Hajoca’s culture and emphasis on people and structure are second to none in the industry. We have a passion to let our manager’s manage and own their future by picking their vendor partnerships, sharing success through annual profit sharing, instilling an emphasis on local decision-making and the ability for everyone to control their own destiny.
Hajoca has a rigorous selection of talent with unprecedented investment in their leadership teams. Hajoca holds everyone accountable for high and visible expectations on integrity. We have a culture of servant leadership that is designed for continued growth. Hajoca emphasizes the importance of the combination of developing world class leaders, growing and inspiring the team, adding value to our customers, and delivering world class results.
How important do you feel it is to attract young professionals into this industry?
Young professionals are extremely important to this industry. The young professionals at Hajoca have a mindset of innovation, ownership and ability to broaden the vision for their store. Hajoca has a successful management training program that is set as a roadmap to insure their success. The young professionals have the ability to add perspective and new ideas. It is vital to the industry to invest in this segment as future leaders. They will pave the way for the future and teach the older generation in the industry new ideas, concepts and how to use technology to service the customer.
They come with an inherent eagerness to learn and succeed. It is important that we invest in developing and recruiting young professionals so we can learn better ways to handle the obstacles that lie in the future. The energy and drive to succeed are infectious with this particular demographic group and it is always refreshing to have discussions with them on how we can continue to improve and service the customer in the most efficient manner.
How important do you feel it is to attract women into the industry?
This is a particularly important topic for me and Hajoca, along with Delta Faucets, recently held a seminar to help learn and understand how important it is to recruit female leaders. There is factual evidence that female leaders:
1. Female leadership and representation at senior levels produce better results across many different industries.
2. Female leaders have innate strengths that are different from men, and that lead to success – help in identify and recognizing “assumptions” and tend to be more open minded.
3. Social norms are changing and customers are demanding more empathy and listening – both are stronger attributes among female leaders.
4. There is a higher level of female graduates from college in traditionally male dominated studies (engineering, lawyer, and business management) and the number continues to grow in comparison to male graduates.
Female leadership demonstrate excellent abilities in collaboration and building relationships, which is necessary for the future. We are in a very fast-paced and changing environment and relationship building and collaboration have never been more important. These are inherent skills that female leaders have and continue to develop. Female leaders are typically better at self-development and taking initiative. Diversity of thinking is critical to future success and females add the element of a different perspective.