Women in Supply Chain Series: Petra Jordan

Meet Petra Jordan

Petra Jordan is the Director of Planning at Cakes Body, a direct-to-consumer brand on a mission to develop innovative, comfortable, flattering alternatives to traditional bras that work for all body types.

We spoke with Petra about how she started her career in supply chain management, her role at Cakes, her perspective on women working in supply chain and the best career advice she’s received along the way. 

Q: How did you get into the supply chain industry?

I actually went to university to study Art History and Architecture and Classical Civilization. I did an arts degree, and then I realized: what am I going to do with this? So I moved to New York City from Dublin, bartended to pay my rent and had a lot of fun. 

That role eventually led me into the first phase of my corporate career: working at a large alcoholic beverage supplier in New York, where I initially met Casey Capuano, one of our founders. A few years later, after she started Cakes, Casey reached out to see if I would be interested in joining the team as a Production Manager.

Casey has a talent for seeing what other people are good at and their strengths. She said, “I know you’ve never done a role like this before, but that doesn’t matter because you’ve got the right skill set, and we’re going to figure it out together.”

That was really cool because she was right. We have been figuring it out together, and we’ve been doing well. It’s proof that you can learn a new skill set, a new industry, or anything as long as you’re open-minded about it.

Q: What are the biggest challenges facing brands in supply chain today?

We are a newer brand in e-commerce direct-to-consumer (DTC ). So one of the biggest challenges for us is just navigating a really complex world where specifics are so crucial— like freight forwarding and everything that comes with it, the customs piece, the Incoterms, all of the implications with how you manage your imports and the people that you have to support you, from your customs broker or the freight forwarder you choose to work with, or even which technology you partner with, like Anvyl.

Supply chain and logistics are complex, and it’s important to focus on specifics because even getting one tiny thing wrong can significantly impact your bottom line.  

Q: Why do you think there are fewer women and female leaders in supply chain?

It’s really interesting because since I joined Cakes and started working in the supply chain world, most of the people I’ve met are women, and they’ve all been amazing. 

But when many people think of supply chains, they think of these big containers on the ocean, and it just feels like a very male-dominated space. This may be because a lot of the work is physical. 

It’s an intimidating and complicated space that may deter some highly capable women. They also may not know how frequently there are openings to break into this industry.  

The way it happened for me was accidental. So, there’s definitely more that the industry as a whole could do to change common misconceptions that might hold women back from working in supply chain.

Women make up 41% of the supply chain workforce, and only 26% of C-suite roles (CSCO, SVP, EVP, CPO) are filled by women.
2023 Women in Supply Chain Report, Gartner

Q: How can brands attract gender diversity in their business? 

Brands should create more space for mentorship in their companies and promote open discussions on LinkedIn, social media, or elsewhere about women’s experiences working in the supply chain. 

This helps open the door for other women interested in supply chain, shows that there’s room to grow and that there’s going to be the right level of support and mentorship in the industry for them to build a fulfilling career. 

More visibility of women in the supply chain in general is crucial to making that first step towards change.

Q: What role has mentorship played in your career?

Mentorship has played a huge role in my career, and women in every single role I’ve ever had positively impacted me.

They’ve encouraged me to think outside the box and apply for roles that I might not have applied for otherwise. 

Casey is a prime example of this.

She really encouraged me to do this role, knowing I had zero experience in this space. However, she knew I would thrive since I had the right skill set and a willingness to learn.

I was recently promoted to Director of Planning, so now, for the first time in my career, I’m going to have a team report to me, which is exciting.  

I hope to pass on a similar message to my team and anyone else in the industry: that the right skill set and mindset can take you places you never imagined going and that you will go far when you believe in yourself and your abilities.

Q: What was the best piece of career advice you’ve ever heard?

Imposter syndrome is a myth. It doesn’t exist. You are where you are for a reason, and you did the hard work to get to where you are today. 

To add to that, the whole five-year plan thing is a myth. Life will take you where you’re meant to go. 

When I was younger, I used to really worry that I didn’t have a plan because everybody else had their five-year plan.

Today, I would say, if you don’t have a plan, don’t sweat it. I’ve never had one at any step of my career journey, and I love what I do. 

About Petra

After originally joining the team in August 2023 as Production Manager, Petra is now the Director of Planning at Cakes Body. There, she oversees international freight forwarding while also building a network of trusted partners and expanding Cakes’ supply chain network. Petra has a deep appreciation for the supply chain and enjoys seeing tangible results from all of the work that goes into getting a product from concept to customer.

Before joining the Cakes Body team, Petra worked in marketing and activation in the beverage industry for ten years.

Connect with Petra on Linkedin, and learn more about Cakes on their website

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