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An interview with Martha Sosebee

This International Women’s Day (8 March), we have invited Martha Sosebee (Cotton Import/Export Manager, Supply Chain Management, Savannah, GA) to provide us with an interview on her experience in the cotton industry:

When did you join the cotton industry?
I started my Cotton Career in 1981 working with California Cartage and Common Market in Long Beach California.  Moving from a small farm town in Mississippi to California was a tremendous culture shock but I adjusted well and quickly.  My years in California I attended many cotton conventions and visited customers giving me the opportunity to meet so many of my mentors that I still to this day keep in touch with.  Years later I moved to Houston Texas and back to Mississippi managing cotton warehouses.  I have now planted my feet firmly in Savannah Georgia working with Supply Chain Management supervising cotton imports and export.

What do you like the most about the cotton industry?
I think what I like most about the cotton industry is once you have started working in cotton you stay in cotton.  People I have worked with from Steamship Lines, Merchants, Warehouses and Freight Carriers I have known for years.

What are the biggest challenges you have had to face?
One of my biggest challenges is currently happening and that is managing export bookings when the vessels are backed up in the Port.

What is it like being a woman in the cotton industry?
I have never thought of what it’s like to be a “woman” in the industry.  It’s no different from men in the cotton industry.  We are all here for one reason and that is to import and export cotton.  We are a large group consisting of many aspects of the supply chain and it has been made up of both men and women for years.

What do you think is the biggest challenge for women in the industry?
Me being a woman, I personally have not faced any challenges in the industry other than everyone wants a “woman” on their golf team in a scramble because you can drive from the forward tee box.  More women need to play golf and partake in the cotton conventions golf tournaments and stop signing up for the all-day “shopping” in town.

What is your message to other women in the industry?
Work hard, keep good work ethics, understand problems that can arise from any aspect from within the supply chain and be respectful of other’s suggestions.

Find out more about Women in Cotton >