By PG Editorial Staff
Progressive Grocer proudly honors another truly outstanding contingent of female industry leaders with its annual Top Women in Grocery awards.
One of the great clichés of awards programs is that every year, the submissions get better, but in the case of Top Women in Grocery, it happens to be true.
Ever since Progressive Grocer first introduced this industry-leading awards platform in 2007, the judging panel has not only seen the quality of candidates steadily rise, but also the number of worthy candidates — leading to our largest-ever pool of winners this year, with 204.
One of the main reasons for these increases in quality and number has been the continuing proliferation of women throughout the grocery industry, from entry-level positions to the top slots. Along the way, they've excelled in such traditionally female niches as communications and human resources while moving into dynamic roles previously held only by men — construction, information technology, transportation and warehouse facilities management, among
Instead of dwelling on the historical gender gap in the food industry, however, our Top Women in Grocery program also fulfills a unique purpose: to mark — indeed celebrate — the continuing steps to close it while prominently recognizing the critical roles our honorees play within an industry that touches each and every American's life in some way or another on a daily basis.
As always, one of the most rewarding aspects of reviewing the hundreds of nominations is getting to know a little about the remarkable women profiled in each of them. Whether it's taking to the road with her family to support the rollout of a product line she's passionate about, organizing and skillfully executing new programs and strategies in record time and under budget, or just offering personal support to the husband of a loyal store customer battling cancer, these invaluable members of their companies are making a huge difference to their overall success.
One inspiring thought that we kept in mind during the demanding judging process is that Top Women in Grocery exist across all walks of industry, even beyond our three overarching categories of Senior-level Executives, Rising Stars and Store Managers. As one grocery clerk wrote to us earlier this year: "Every day and throughout the night, thousands of wonderful women are working long and hard in the grocery industry. They receive, stock and sell all of the grocery merchandise. These grand women greet and serve the companies' guests 365 days a year. They are the true heart and soul of a grocery company, [as] they provide the very foundation on which all others rely and progress from."
While our 2012 Top Women in Grocery honorees in these pages represent a mere fraction of the many women who contribute to the grocery industry's success, the eloquent tribute shared above reminds us to be thankful for all of the unsung female associates who do their jobs admirably in anonymity — and who could, one day, take their rightful places in a future edition of PG's Top Women in Grocery.
We will celebrate the accomplishments of these remarkable women at this year's Top Women in Grocery Awards Gala on Thursday, Nov. 8 at the InterContinental Chicago O'Hare in Rosemont, Ill. To join us and reserve your seat, please click here.
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