Editor's Note: At the Top of Their Game
According to a Forbes article titled "Why Aren't There More Powerful Women In Retail?," author Laura Heller questions why there were only a handful of women in the retail industry named to the publication's 2013 "World's 100 Most Powerful Women" list, which ranks the most powerful women by dollars, media presence and impact.
Retail, Heller notes, "is an industry whose primary customer base is female. Apparel retailers, department stores, discount stores and supermarkets all refer to their customers as "she." Even consumer electronics and home improvement retailers have come to see beyond the traditional male shopper and now embrace the role women play as influencers, decision makers and buyers in these product categories. So after decades of retail industry growth, where are the women leaders?"
Only seven of the Top 100 women list are from the retail space. They include Sheri McCoy, CEO of Avon (No. 27); Rosalind Brewer, president and CEO of Sam's Club (No. 44); Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry Group (No. 53); Tory Burch, CEO and founder of Tory Burch (No. 69); Carol Meyrowitz, CEO of TJX Companies (No. 82); Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSNi (No. 89); and Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx (No. 90).
I agree with Heller to a degree; I still primarily find myself speaking with male executives at retail companies for the various articles I write. And when seeking speakers for our live and virtual events, the pool from which I can choose is usually dominated by men. What's more, the number of women speaking at retail conferences and events is usually pretty small (although it has been increasing lately).
We here at Retail Online Integration believe there are plenty of powerful women in the retail industry, and that's why we're celebrating them in our March/April issue — as we have for the past four years.
Our cover story honors leading female executives at retail companies. These women have helped their companies grow in an ever-evolving industry and a less-than-stellar economic climate. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn about the career paths of these retail leaders. In addition, each woman featured has shared her best tip for succeeding in the omnichannel retail space. This is advice that you can't afford to pass up.
Finally, here's one sign that things are looking up for female retail executives: this year we were inundated with women to choose from, settling on the 20 women you'll find in the cover story.