Women leaders at Cummins are at the coalface of supply chain and people management during Covid-19

Working for Cummins has resulted in exposure to amazing mentors and peers who recognise talent and nurture development – male and female alike, says Nancy Chakabuda, Internal Controls Director at Cummins Inc.

“As females, we are inclined to think that we can only be mentored for success by other females. However, the story of my development has been that some of our male counterparts are truly champions for uplifting women, developing female talent, and supporting us to shatter corporate glass ceilings. Some of my greatest lessons learnt have been for my male mentors – the need for authenticity in my approach, and the power of giving back,” says Nancy.

She leads the Internal Controls teams based in the Europe, Latin America and Africa Middle East regions. Nancy is a qualified Chartered Accountant (South Africa) with an MBA from GIBs. She is also a Certified Fraud Examiner (ACFE) and is currently studying towards her Doctorate in Business Administration with Herriot Watt University (University of Edinburgh, UK).

Chartered Accountants (SAICA)

A proud achievement was being recognized as a Top 35 Under 35 Chartered Accountant by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) during 2020. Winning the Leadership Award was a validation of the years of consistency and hard work she has put in. “Being able to inspire others with my journey to date has been equally rewarding,” says Nancy.

“Particularly as a young African woman, I have been able to showcase the excellence that women bring to the table – contextual leadership, diversity in ideas, and an ability to influence a culture of humanity and togetherness. As a woman, I have worked twice as hard as my male peers to legitimise my capabilities, despite my education – this is true for many females in the corporate environment.”

She adds: “We have seen some major appointments in corporate environments that continue to give us hope, inspiration and increase the size of our platform as females. Bringing it close to home, in Cummins it is equally encouraging to see so much female representation within senior roles, not just in traditional functional roles, but in operational roles as well.

Supply Chain Strategy and Transformation

While supply chain, logistics and operations may not seem like the most glamorous career, it provides extensive knowledge as to how business works. “In a global economy, supply chain is critical,” says Reshmi Khan, Supply Chain Transformation EMEA Demand Track Leader at Cummins.

The Supply Chain Strategy and Transformation team collaborates to design and deliver capability transformation across its integrated supply chains. “In particular, the supply of vaccines has been an issue in the fight against Covid-19. The same applies to business. In fact, during the height of Covid-19, supply chain in most industries experienced rapid growth due to the demand for the flow of goods and services. Careers in supply chain are broad and extensive, so there is something for everyone,” says Reshmi.

She has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science and a Diploma is Operations Management. In addition, she holds various supply chain certifications such as CSP (Certified Supply Chain Professional), CASP (Certified Advanced Supply Chain Professional) and CPP (Certified Procurement Professional).

Reshmi has been with Cummins for 18 years. She views her career as a journey where every role and experience has added to her professional knowledge and confidence, while making her more caring and patient personally. The highlight has been serving on the Community Involvement Team, whereby she was able to support others in need and make an impact on their lives. “This is what I appreciate about Cummins – that we have the opportunity to also live out our personal passion in terms of community work.”

“It is a privilege to work for a company that lives its core values. These values resonate with me personally, as serving with integrity and care is part of my identity. Working for Cummins feels more like a partnership than just a number in the employee list,” says Lehlogonolo Bashele, SARDC Operations Team Leader at Cummins.

Transformation in the industry

She has a BTech in Transport Economics, Hons Logistics, MPhil Logistics and attended the Advanced Supply Chain Academy (Cummins). She is responsible for planning the daily activities of the warehouse team, including managing team members, housekeeping, and meeting operation targets. Lehlogonolo started her career as asupply chain graduate in 2017. August will see her taking on another exciting challenge as Senior Account Management Specialist.

“Working on-site with the team through the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown has been a great milestone. Keeping in contact with other critical stakeholders in supply chain has been eye-opening, proving that when we work together towards a common goal, we can overcome any challenge and achieve great things,” says Lehlogonolo.

Commenting on transformation in the industry, she stresses: “I don’t think the industry has been transformed sufficiently. We don’t have enough women in the pipeline and women are not growing sufficiently in leadership roles. However, current small strides could see bigger transformation in the industry in the next generation.”

Lebohang Mosese is HR Director for the Cummins AME Distribution Business Unit, one of four business units within Cummins AME. The DBU is the largest and mainly provides sales, service and support to customers in the region. She has a BSc (Thesis Hon) in Logopaedics from UCT Medical School and a PMD from the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBs)., and is currently finalizing her Professional Director’s qualification with the Directors Association.

Lebohang joined Cummins as a senior recruiter, spending five years in Talent Acquisition for AME, transitioning to HR in 2018. In 2017 she was selected Leader of the Women’s Network for Cummins AME. This was a voluntary position that required her to dedicate about 20% of her time in the office leading the Employee Resource Group.

“Our journey to transform is only just beginning. Many companies have the policies and strategies in place because it is the right thing to do. However, they lack in changing mindsets of those that make key decisions. Data has shown that capable gender diverse talent, especially at entry level, is abundant in the market. The buy-in from hiring managers is what still needs attention.” concludes Lebohang.

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