Success in store: Lessons from leading female store managers

LEAD Network Retailer Study 2016

The LEAD Network Study “Success in store: Lessons from leading female store managers” 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.

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.

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 study provides key recommendations for retailers wishing to bring female managers to the shop floor and build a strong pipeline of female talent for the future. The results of the LEAD Retailer study are available to LEAD Partners only.

The “Success in store” report covers the following topics:

  1. Why are there so few female store managers?
  2. Defining success
    What differentiates a successful store manager from an average one?
    Is there a difference between successful male and female store managers?
  3. The successful store manager in action
    How do you engage your employees?
    How do you interact with your customers?
  4. Finding a healthy work-life balance
    With what you know now, what would you do differently?
  5. How retailers can close the gender gap
    – Critical checklist
  6. Retailer perspective

For additional information about the study, contact Mick Broekhoef, Secretary of the LEAD Network, at and