Visionary, inspirational, empowering. Individuals who demonstrate these characteristics can be found in key leadership positions throughout the retail industry, guiding their teams to success. But how many of these key positions are filled by women, and perhaps more critically, why is that an important question to ask?
The answer to the first question is simple: not many. As for the second, according to Chicago-based consultancy Female Factor, women’s purchasing power and influence drives between 70 to 80 percent of all consumer spending. Despite this dependence on female consumers, only 3 percent of women working for Standard & Poor’s 500 index retail companies are ceos and just 30 percent hold executive/senior-level positions, according to a recent study by not-for-profit research group Catalyst (New York).
In an effort to raise awareness and advocate for the ideal that organizations should be representative of the constituencies they serve, we’ve launched our first Top Women in Retail Design awards for 2017. The purpose of this program is to celebrate women leaders and recognize their contributions in both retail design and visual merchandising.
We’ll be honoring six female retail professionals who have shown an exemplary commitment to innovation, creativity and lifelong learning, and who are actively involved in a mentorship role to “pay it forward.”
Exclusive coverage will appear in VMSD’s November 2017 issue and nominations open this month. Keep an eye on your email inbox in the coming weeks for the Call for Nominations, reach out to one of our editors for questions, or check vmsd.com soon for the page to nominate your candidate.