Traditionally, executive positions in food retailing have been very tough to attain, particularly for women pursuing a career up the corporate ladder.
While there are no concrete statistics as to the percentage of women and minorities who have attained upper management positions in food retailing, the Network of Executive Women offers the following general statistics:
Although women account for 46% of the U.S. labor force, they have secured only 15.7% of the corporate officer positions within the Fortune 500 companies.
When these figures are compared to the food distribution industry, the industry falls short. The food production, food wholesaling and food and drug store segments all rank below the Fortune 500 average with only 7.1%, 11% and 11.7% respectively of the corporate officer positions being represented by women.
SN interviewed five women executives in food retailing to discuss their experiences in advancing within their companies, and what is needed to enhance the mix of corporate leadership. Presented here are their stories.