Future of Sourcing Digital welcomes to the stage Julia Moshkin of EcoVadis, as our latest participant in the “Women in Global Sourcing” series. This series strives to highlight, celebrate and acknowledge women who are pioneers and leaders in the industry and who have been influential in moving the industry forward.
Women in Global Sourcing: Julia Moshkin
Julia Moshkin has over 10 years of experience in sustainability and environmental industry and is currently an Operation Manager and Senior CSR Analyst at EcoVadis. In this role, she is responsible for leading a CSR experts team that support evolution of EcoVadis product, managing engagements with stakeholders on emerging CSR topics and ensuring continuous improvement of EcoVadis methodology.
Tell us about your career path? How did you get into this field, was it on purpose or by accident?
For me it was a little bit of both. My personal career goal is and always has been to maximize positive impact. From working on renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the public and private sectors, to shifting gears into the sustainable procurement space, I have always looked for the next frontier in sustainability. Five years ago, I joined the first “on the ground” EcoVadis team in North America, to help companies create value through sustainable procurement. I had experience in sustainability, but procurement I knew very little about. I recall preparing for my interview, trying to learn everything there is to know about the intersection of procurement and sustainability, and quickly realizing that this will be the next big thing, not only for my career, but for global businesses. For companies that have roughly 80% of their environmental footprint occurring outside of their four walls, sustainable procurement is the key to managing risk and maximizing positive impact. This is what I’ve always been searching for, and unexpectedly found in this field.
Would you follow that same path again, if you had a choice?
Absolutely. I cannot be happier with the ways in which my career unfolded. Prior to joining EcoVadis, I had first-hand experience working for the public and the private sectors, trying to solve sustainability-related problems. I quickly realized the complexities of advancing even the simplest win-win solutions, and I believe those complexities exist more so today than 10 years ago. This is why I am thrilled to be helping organizations to tackle some of the challenges surrounding supply chain sustainability and transparency.
What was the most significant development to impact your profession or area of business during your career and why?
From new technologies to rising geopolitical pressures and extreme climate events, sustainability is emerging as an important business strategy. Now, more than ever, businesses are under scrutiny to make sound environmental and social decisions, because the cost of inaction is becoming too high. Social media is unforgiving, and consumers have shown that they are not shy about publicly shaming and turning away from offenders. This context creates an urgency for companies to act and the opportunity to emerge as leaders by fostering collaboration across the entire value chain.
What is the biggest challenge facing your industry today, and how are you planning to solve it?
I think one of the main challenges that we face today is complexity and the relative lack of visibility into supply chains. The main reason I joined EcoVadis five years ago, was to help businesses leverage the value of sustainability business intelligence. My vision is to help create a future in which collaboration across supply chains is seamless. Ultimately, this will help unlock value for organizations, and at the same time help improve economies, communities and the planet we all depend on. So, for me, being part of the solution and empowering procurement leaders with information to manage, engage and ultimately collaborate with their supply chain on sustainability issues, is a reward in and of itself.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement career-wise?
Finding my voice, figuratively and literally speaking. I remember a year going by in my first job, until I felt confident enough to speak up in meetings. My confidence grew as I gained experience and started to take on more responsibilities but I always deliberately avoided public speaking. Last year, I took on an ultimate challenge, and was going to prove to myself that I can get over my fear of public speaking. I agreed to deliver a 10-minute presentation in front of 500 participants at EcoVadis’ event of the year – SUSTAIN. I cannot remember the days leading up to the conference, I was so nervous and in my own head. To my big surprise, it was a success! I didn’t trip or fall on my face, and even remembered my whole speech by heart. In hindsight , the risk I took was worth it. I remain grateful for that opportunity to step out of my comfort zone in a way I hadn’t done before.
What is your biggest (as yet) unfulfilled ambition – and what are you doing to achieve it?
My biggest ambition is finding a balance between the passion for what I do and the reality of who I am. As a mother of two children under the age of three, uncertainty and unpredictability are part of my life. But every day I am learning to embrace it, live in the moment and hold on to my sense of humor. My days do not always go as planned, but I am grateful for the amazing team I work with and support of my family for empowering me to follow my dreams. One day, I hope my children will reap the benefits of what I do, and live in a world where sustainability is as important as profits for businesses. Until then, I am committed to never stop working towards that goal.
What 3 words do you think your colleagues and peers would use to describe you?
passionate, supportive, curious
What piece of advice would you give to young women starting their career in the field of sourcing and procurement?
I believe that the focus on sustainability in procurement is here to stay. The industry and practitioners are changing, I see it every day as more companies embrace sustainable procurement practices. You have an incredible opportunity to make a big impact through your purchasing decisions, so make sure that you have the right information and tools to make informed decisions. Ask yourself what motivates you, and why you want to be part of this field. This will help you discover your passion and connect your personal mission to the work you do.