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Equality focus

Professor Feryal Erhun of Cambridge Judge Business School has been elected as the President of the Manufacturing and Service Operations Management (MSOM) Society. She is focusing her presidency platform on strengthening the Society’s focus on diversity and inclusion issues.

Female mechanical engineer operating heavy industrial machinery.
Feryal Erhun.
Professor Feryal Erhun

Feryal Erhun, Professor of Operations & Technology Management at Cambridge Judge Business School, has been elected as the President of the Manufacturing and Service Operations Management (MSOM) Society, which at nearly 1,500 members is the largest society within the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). As the President of the Society this year, her focus is on improving transparency and operationalising best practices on diversity and inclusion issues.

MSOM is a home for operations management research, promoting knowledge dissemination and efficiency of industrial practice related to the operations function in manufacturing and service enterprises. The Society brings together researchers, educators, consultants, practitioners, and students with interest in a wide range of scientific fields – including operations research and management science, mathematics, economics, statistics, information systems and artificial intelligence.

MSOM was the first community within INFORMS to amend its bylaws to include a Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Feryal says as a part of her platform, she is working closely with the Diversity and Inclusion Committee to organise a series of “Walk the Talk” panels on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) issues. These panels aim to document the worldwide practices on various EDI issues to guide the Society members to understand where their institutions stand and help the Society collectively identify and implement best practices on these issues.

The Society has already organised two panels on parental leave policies. With these panels, MSOM has collected information about practices worldwide on parental leave policies that will be made available to the group’s members. A survey will then follow the panels to start the discussion on core concerns and best practices. In the long term, Feryal hopes that the Society may create an EDI Index that academic institutions can use to evaluate their awareness of EDI issues.

Feryal has been at Cambridge Judge since 2015. Her recent research has involved such topics as supply chain resiliency, healthcare supply chains during the COVID-19 crisis, and modelling the effects of pandemic-related policy interventions such as school closures and lockdowns on local health resource usage in primary and secondary care in England.