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    Q&A with FMI's Sarasin on Women's Leadership

    Trade org CEO discusses females' evolving role in food retail

    By Julia Russell, SmartBrief

    Promoting and retaining female leaders is important in any industry, and food retail is no different. SmartBrief talked with Food Marketing Institute President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin about the importance of engaging female leaders, and what food retailers are doing to promote and empower leaders within their organizations.

    Why do you think women are important to leadership in general?
    As we seek leadership that is better equipped to meet the challenges of this age — one that is more collaboratively driven, oriented toward forming potent partnerships and strong on supportive networking — the nurturing, relationally-oriented strengths of women are critical now more than ever. In addition, as the younger generations include more working women than ever before, it is essential that they have role models available to them to assist with their leadership development. Those role models should be effective women leaders.

    Why do you think female leadership is important to the food retail industry in particular?
    For years, women have been the primary customer of the food retailer. We women have been the primary grocery shopper, the homemaker, the one deciding what was for dinner and what went into the grocery cart. Even though that is changing and 40 percent of men now claim to be responsible for the household grocery shopping, we have a long history of serving in that role. This historical perspective is valuable and as our industry adapts to trends in technology, convenience and health and wellness, the leadership of women will be ever more important.

    The full discussion can be viewed here.

    By Julia Russell, SmartBrief
    • About Julia Russell Julia Russell edits retail and food and beverage newsletters at SmartBrief and covers industry news for SmartBlog on Food and Beverage. She graduated from the Philip Merrill School of Journalism at the University of Maryland in College Park and did media research for cloud-based marketing software provider Vocus before joining SmartBrief.

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