Monday, July 28, 2014

WFF White Paper: Research study identifies key factors & competencies for leadership development & advancement to the C-Suite

Findings Released In “A Roadmap To The C-Suite” White Paper Sponsored By Rich Products

With sights set on gender parity on executive teams, Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF)--the trusted leadership development organization in the foodservice sector--and Kenexa--an IBM company that is a pioneer in employee research and workforce performance—announce the release of - “A Roadmap to the C-Suite”, a white paper detailing the findings of its year-long research study on the  factors and competencies that influence women’s leadership development and advancement to the C-Suite.

The white paper debuted at the 12th Annual WFF 2014 Executive Summit in New Orleans, July 28-30,  where more than 300 executives are in attendance to deepen leadership skills and explore future trends.  “A Roadmap to the C-Suite” will be made available to the public July 29, by download on the WFF website –  Rich Products Corporation, global food supplier to the foodservice, in-store bakery and retail market places, provided a significant grant to fund the research.

“We conducted this research study to acquire an understanding into the key competencies and factors that have contributed to success for those who have already achieved C-level roles,” said Hattie Hill, WFF President & CEO. “It is our intention to use this information to assist women in purposefully and strategically developing their career progression roadmap for advancement to the C-suite. “
For this survey, WFF members were asked to respond to a series of questions related to the critical factors that influenced their success at different levels of their careers (Emerging Leader [Managers], Emerging Executive [Directors], Executive [Vice Presidents], C-Suite [CXO]).Addressing one fundamental question: “What factors influence women’s success in achieving the highest levels of leadership in the food service industry?”, the research study results point to several valuable conclusions which correlate to WFF’s Leadership Competency Model:
  • Early in their careers, women at the top gained competence in delivering results and demonstrating financial acumen. Pivotal competencies such as Strategic Thinking and Visioning and understanding the business climate, become most critical in their ascension to the C-suite.
  • Executive leaders are confident and take action. They make things happen and they are not easily deterred, even when the stakes and the pressures are high.
  • Executive leaders drive for results and aren’t afraid to take risks to gain success. They are more willing to push themselves out of their comfort zones to take on new assignments, experiences and roles - even if they don’t think they are fully prepared.
  • Regardless of functional expertise, building overall business and financial acumen has been important in their career growth and success.
  • Women in the top spots didn’t get there by accident. Most set their sights on the top spots early in their careers by establishing career goals and following personal development plans.
  • Women in top positions didn’t waste time in getting there. Those who eventually reach the C-suite often progressed through lower levels of leadership far quicker than those whose careers plateaued at lower levels.

Currently, only 17 percent of directors and 14 percent of C-Suite executives at Fortune 500 companies are women.[i]  By recognizing the key factors that have proven successful for women currently in top business positions, we can best develop leaders and increase the representation of women in the C-suite and boardroom.
“We are thankful for Rich Products Corporation’s sponsorship of the research study and longtime support of the WFF mission,” said Hill.  “The key findings will enable us to continuously evolve our training and development for our members, at all levels of their careers, and best serve our mission of advancing women leaders.”

“It was of the utmost importance for Rich Products to support this endeavor as it mirrors the value our organization places on career development and advancing women leaders within Rich Products,” said Bill Gisel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rich Products, headquartered in Buffalo, N.Y. “We too will use the study findings to reinforce our current career development strategies at Rich’s, and we are also very proud of the positive implications this will have on the industry at large.”

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 provides the competence, content and strategic connections needed to make a positive difference in the careers of women in the foodservice industry. For more information, visit

No comments:

Post a Comment