• Success in Store - Lessons from Leading Female Store Managers

    Most retail companies agree that diversity is vital to their future success. It is alarming, therefore, that women remain grossly underrepresented in store management. Stores typically employ large numbers of women, yet few of these make it into a management position – in fact, the vast majority never even consider it as a viable career option. Yet tapping into this pool of talent is vital if businesses are to stay in touch with consumers’ diverse and rapidly changing needs and shopping habits.

    So what can be done about it? LEAD Network report “Success in store - Lessons from leading female store managers” aims to explore that question. It grew out of a retailer roundtable discussion at LEAD Network’s third annual conference in Brussels in 2015. Participants were keen to find out more about why the gender imbalance exists, and what practical action could be taken to redress it.

    We interviewed 25 store managers defined as ‘successful’ by their retailer. Twenty one were women (most of them married with children) and four men. From these detailed interviews we built up a picture of store managers’ experience – what motivates them, what holds them back, what their most important skills and behaviours are, and how companies can help to foster the next generation of female talent.

    The report is aimed both at retailers looking for evidence-based strategies to build a more diverse store manager base, and at women considering store management as a career choice. Enabling women to learn from each other’s experience is a guiding principle of this report – and indeed underpins the work of LEAD Network too.

    The report was discussed during the LEAD Network event on October 7th during a special session with store managers and other attendees interested in the subject.