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Women in Procurement Spotlight | Darlyne Freedman

In our next feature for the Women in Procurement campaign during Women's History Month, we are highlighting Darlyne Freedman. With an impressive career spanning over three decades, Darlyne's journey through diverse industries such as F&B, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, engineering, construction and heavy chemical manufacturing, showcases her adaptability, expertise and pioneering spirit. Currently serving as the Vice President of Procurement for Baxter's Kidney Care business, Darlyne's story is a beacon of continuous growth and relentless pursuit of excellence. Here, Darlyne shares her career journey, the hurdles she's overcome, her guidance for aspiring women in procurement, and her vision for the future of the industry.

What inspired you to pursue a career in procurement?

Inspired by my father, who transitioned from engineering to procurement at GE Plastics, my interest in procurement started at a young age. Despite initially resisting the idea of following in his footsteps, my experiences and innate negotiation skills led me down a similar path, starting my procurement journey with Jacob’s Engineering.

Can you share a challenge you faced in your career and how you overcame it?

Early in my career, I struggled with feelings of inadequacy, which eventually shifted to balancing my desire for children with my career aspirations. After a personal journey through IVF, I welcomed twins, reaffirming my belief in persistence and resilience. Later challenges included pursuing an MBA as a working mother and navigating the dynamics of a traditionally male-dominated field, where I learned the value of advocating for myself and embracing non-traditional paths to achieve my goals.

What advice do you have for young women aspiring to succeed in procurement?

Own the room, even if it means faking confidence until you make it. Don't let anyone box you in or underestimate your value. Finding mentors, including male allies who support women's advancement, is crucial for growth and navigating challenges.

Where do you see the future of procurement heading, and what skills are essential for future leaders?

The future of procurement is intertwined with technology and requires a blend of core procurement skills, Lean Six Sigma knowledge, data analysis, and strategic thinking. Project management has become increasingly important as procurement professionals lead transformative projects beyond traditional sourcing and contracting.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I have a diverse range of interests, from crafts and crocheting to sports and travel. My husband and I enjoy attending sports events, including our quest to visit every baseball park. I also love garage sales and thrifting, hunting for treasures and negotiating deals.

In honor of Women's History Month, who are the women who have inspired you the most?

My grandmother and mother have been significant personal inspirations. My grandmother's dynamism and advocacy work, coupled with my mother's nursing career and emphasis on education, shaped my understanding of resilience and the importance of education for women. Professionally, the support from my husband, who values my career and encourages me to pursue my ambitions, has been invaluable.

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