For years, women have driven majority of consumer purchasing.. With their quintessential contribution to the success of the retail industry, it only makes sense for the female population to have representation in the leadership positions at these companies as well. The retail industry has seen exponential growth in the last decade, and with its boom, women leaders have been riding the wave of its success at the helm. In this modern world of retail, tales of increasing women leaders are as inspirational as it is beneficial to close the gender gap in the community.
The Women Making A Change
On the occasion of International Women’s day, let us look at a few inspirational women entrepreneurs in retail who have a global stronghold and are bringing some pioneering change in the retail sector.
1. Deborah Yeh, Sephora
The Vice President of Marketing at the French multinational retailer of personal care and beauty products - Sephora, Deborah Yeh comes with years of retail expertise to her credit. She has previously worked as the Vice President of Marketing at Old Navy and as group manager of market planning at Target. She is known to prioritise innovation and weaving brand stories that are important to the customers. One of the most beautiful things about being in a personal retail category is the constant human interactions, and she hopes to establish long-term customer relationships through her marketing strategies.
2. Judith McKenna, Walmart International
Judith McKenna is the CEO and president of Walmart International, a growing segment of Walmart’s overall operations. She has also served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Walmart US. She is credited with the success of launching the online grocery pick-up in more than 1,100stores in the US. Judith also secured a place in Fortune’s 50 most powerful women list in 2015.
3. Belinda Wong, Starbucks China
Wong is the CEO of Starbucks China, the company’s fastest-growing market. Wong is also a member of the global executive leadership team, thanks to her 20 years of knowledge and expertise in China and the Asia Pacific region. During her tenure, she introduced a pioneering health insurance benefit that covers the parents of the employees. Along with her leadership team, she successfully led the 2018 acquisition of the remaining 50 percent share of Starbucks East China operations.
4. Jennifer Hyman, Rent the Runway
Jennifer Hyman is the co-founder and CEO of Rent the Runway, a fashion company that introduced the concept of renting designer clothes. The company recently partnered with WeWork, where the co-working spaces will play the role of drop-off locations for the clothes across the US. Under the leadership of Hyman, the company expanded over 600 labels, and since the company was founded in 2009, it has managed to raise over $525 million in capital.
5. Monica Arnaudo, Ulta
Ulta Beauty recently joined the Fortune 500 list under the leadership of Monica Arnaudo, the Chief Merchandising Officer. Monica has previously served in many sales and merchandising leadership roles at Nordstrom and Sephora, along with many other globally-established beauty companies like L’Oreal. With 30 years of experience in the beauty industry, Monica joined Ulta Beauty in 2017 and has since elevated the shopping experience for the customers, resulting in the brand’s success.
6. Tanvi Malik, FabAlley & Indya
Tanvi is the co-founder of FabAlley, a global trending fashion brand specifically dedicated to women apparel. She manages the branding activities, including website design and functionality. She has also worked at L’Orealfor the launch and retail expansion of their luxury brand - Lancome. She has also worked at Titan Industries Limited. Under her leadership, FabAlley has successfully executed the award-winning ‘Unfollow’ campaign.
7. Falguni Nayar, Nykaa
The founder of Nykaa, Falguni Nayar has been at the forefront of the brand’s success. A leading wellness and beauty brand, Nykaa has successfully dominated the digital-native brand presence and has further opened premium stores in limited locations. With 25 years of experience, Falguni has received the ‘Women Ahead’ award by Economic Times and ‘Most Powerful Business’ by ‘Business Today’.
Time for Inclusivity in Retail World
While women retailers have continued to shape and contribute to the retail industry for a long time, there is still a long way to go for companies to close the gender gap in leadership roles. The retailers can help by identifying these gaps and investing in women’s talent development practices such as leadership commitments and career development programmes. We, at Intellect Commerce, promote and motivate women leaders in all departments. This International Women’s Day, let’s strengthen our resolve to make way for more women in the retail world for them to find their rightful place.