Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 72

EXPERT'SVIEW
NEW Horizons

to the Women in the Workplace 2017 study by
McKinsey & Co. and LeanIn.org. In retail, where 60
percent of entry-level positions are held by women, the
rapid dropoff of women advancing to the top ranks is
striking: only 45 percent of vice presidents, 33 percent
of senior vice presidents and 31 percent of c-suite roles
are held by women, according to the report.
The number of women in senior roles in consumer
goods is similarly skewed: women hold 59 percent of
entry-level jobs, but comprise just 38 percent of the
industry's vice presidents, 27 percent of senior vice
presidents and 23 percent of c-suite executives.
PASSED OVER IN THE PIPELINE

What's behind the stubborn achievement gap? Great
differences in men's and women's workplace experiences. Women have fewer interactions and receive
less career advice from managers and senior leaders,
according to the Women in the Workplace 2017 study.
The researchers found women and men are asking
for raises and promotions at comparable rates, but
women are four times as likely to say their gender had
a role in them missing out on a promotion, raise or
opportunity to get ahead (37 percent vs. 8 percent).
Exacerbating the achievement gap: Many women
are not comfortable, confident or trained to advocate
for themselves.
The NEW Summit's closing keynote speaker,
Dr. Victoria Husted Medvec, executive director of
Northwestern University's Center for Executive
Women, explained why women who are strong
negotiators for their companies do not negotiate
better for themselves:
* Many women think they will be given things
when they "deserve" them.
* Many women don't establish aggressive goals.
* Many women don't want to damage a relationship.
"They wait for a promotion, instead of asking for it,"
Medvec said. "If a
man sees five job
requirements
for a promotion, he thinks,

'I got this.' To him, they're recommendations, nice-tohaves. But a woman doesn't want to be hired for a job
if she [perceives] she's 'not qualified.'"
Fears of damaging relationships aren't unwarranted.
Women who negotiate, McKinsey and LeanIn.org
found, are more likely than their male peers to get
feedback that they are "intimidating," "too aggressive" or "bossy."
However, there are steps companies can take to
level the playing field:
* Invest in more diversity and inclusion training at
all levels, across functions.
* Ensure a diverse group is considered for promotions and stretch assignments. Don't assume who
may or may not want that role.
* Develop talented women at all levels and review
how candidates are selected for the line roles that
lead to top positions.
* Focus on accountability and business results, not
hours in the office. Because they are more likely
to be single parents or part of two-earner families,
senior-level women generally have more family
obligations than men, who often benefit from a
stay-at-home partner.
At NEW, we know these strategies can help bridge
the gender gap and add real value to the bottom line.
I urge industry leaders to, as I like to say, "promote
profitable pipeline progress." CSN
Sarah Alter is president and CEO of the Network of Executive Women,
Retail and Consumer Goods, a learning and leadership community representing more than 10,000 members, 950 companies, 100 corporate
partners and 21 regional groups in the United States and Canada. Learn
more at newonline.org.
Editor's note: The opinions expressed in this column are the author's and
do not necessarily reflect the views of Convenience Store News.

72 Convenience Store News | DECEMBER 2017 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM


http://www.LeanIn.org http://www.LeanIn.org http://www.newonline.org http://WWW.CSNEWS.COM

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