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Natasha Leporis | 15 Mar 2021 | 2 min read
IWD: Women in Procurement Series - Jennifer Sulentic
In honour of International Women’s Day, we are continuing our interview series of celebrating ‘Women in Procurement’ around this year's theme #ChoosetoChallenge.
A challenged world is an alert world. We are all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day.
We can choose to challenge gender bias and inequality. We can choose to celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create a more inclusive world.
From challenge comes change, so let's all choose to challenge.
Our next leader is Jennifer Sulentic, the Chief Procurement Ally for CompareCoOps. She has over 10 years of experience advising SLED purchasing professionals on how to optimise cooperative contract benefits.
What was the biggest challenge of 2020 and how did you tackle it?
Not being face to face. Zoomed like a champion and upped my social media game.
What female voices in procurement/tech do you admire and why?
Jamie Schorr, Jenny Hedderman, Christin Webb, Carrie Mathes, Jenn Meyers, Jenti Vendertuig, and Shannon Andrews are amazing women changing the face of public procurement and driving critical innovations! They are my constant teachers in improving my understanding of public procurement.
How do you support supplier development and diversity?
I work closely with small, minority, women-owned businesses to help them partner with larger companies to help them access larger business opportunities.
What advice would you give a young woman entering the profession?
Connect, connect, connect. Spend time with people you admire outside of work and ask a lot of questions that show you are interested in what they are doing/their career/life. Keep track of every connection via a software program and follow up with your contacts at least 2x per year. Even for just a "hello, how are you?"
What’s been your most interesting negotiation and why?
I'm not in procurement but helping the City of Chicago successfully use a cooperative contract for its time and attendance software. Lots of Lawyers!
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