Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF), the nation’s largest nonprofit organization focused on advancing women leaders and gender parity on executive teams , launched the WFF 100K Strong Commitment Campaign, an industry-wide call to action to support the advancement of women leaders, at its annual Executive Summit. Over 200 foodservice industry leaders and several prominent New Orleans restaurateurs—Haley Bittermann, Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group; Lauren Brennan Brower, Dickie Brennan & Co.; Karen Coaxum, Coaxum Enterprises; Anna Tusa, The Crazy Lobster; Ti Martin, Commander’s Palace, Sobou, Café Adelaide; Susan Spicer, Bayona Restaurant; Debbie Pierce, Bon Ton Café; Katy Casbarian, Arnaud’s & Remoulade Restaurants & French 75 Bar—joined to lend their support to the national campaign.
“Women are significantly under-represented in C-suite and executive teams and we are asking the foodservice industry to create more opportunities for this group,” said Hattie Hill, WFF President and CEO. “We officially launched the WFF 100K Strong Commitment to Advancing Women Leaders Campaign at our Executive Summit in order to enlist industry support in our mission to help create a pipeline of talent to increase representation in the executive ranks of our nation’s second largest industry.“
The WFF 100K Strong Commitment Campaign is designed to spur foodservice leaders nationally to publicly acknowledge the importance of advancing women leaders, as well as:
- Encourage others to take on and sign the commitment at their company
- Sponsor women leaders in their organizations
- Partner with WFF to create leadership development programs that build key competencies.
The advancement is not only the right thing to do but, according to a study by the American Sociological Organization, there is considerable economic value in better gender-balanced leadership teams, noting that improving gender diversity by a mere one percent leads to a three percent increase in sales. (Source: http://www.asanet.org/press/20090331.cfm)
Throughout the campaign, WFF will provide resources to help women navigate their road to leadership. That support began July 28 with the release of a WFF whitepaper entitled – “A Roadmap to the C-Suite.” Sponsored by Rich’s Foods, the whitepaper is the result of a year-long research study that focused on critical factors that influenced the success of women in the C-Suite, including: risk taking, strategic thinking, business and financial acumen and driving for results.
WFF encourages all leaders to log on and sign the WFF 100K Strong Commitment to Advance Women Leaders campaign at www.WFF100KStrong.org. The campaign will run through December 2015.
Foodservice Industry Statistics
- The restaurant industry is the nation’s second largest private sector employer with a workforce of 13.5 million. (Source: National Restaurant Association)
- The foodservice industry, which includes retail sales, operator purchases and manufacturer shipments, is expected to generate $1.2 trillion in aggregate sales in 2014. (Source: Technomic).
- One in 10 people have worked in the foodservice industry at some point in their career
- Today, women represent 51% of the population and influence $12 trillion of the overall $18.4 trillion in global consumer spending (Catalyst), and have always played the lead role in the food choice decisions for her and her family. (Source: www.catalyst.org/knowledge/buying-power)
WFF is the industry’s premier leadership development organization with more than 25 years of experience advancing women in the foodservice industry. WFF serves thousands of individuals and hundreds of employers in all segments of the industry including operations, manufacturing, distribution, publishing, consulting, and more. Through highly effective and educational events such as the Annual Leadership Development Conference, Executive Summit and Regional Connects as well as professional development and networking opportunities, WFF delivers competency-based leadership development programs and builds strategic industry connections that make a positive difference in the careers of women in the foodservice industry. For more information, visit wff.org.