Research, Data, Results.
Providing insights and best practices to help the Food Industry, Organizations and Individuals reap the rewards of gender equity.
WFF is the Food Industry’s thought leader on gender equity. We provide the research, insights and best practice solutions that enable food companies to address the pressing need for talent, drive better consumer insights and increase business performance by realizing the full potential of women leaders.
We help organizations throughout the food ecosystem identify the levers that actually drive change and create work environments where women thrive and organizations reap the rewards of a gender-diverse workforce.
LEAD THE WAY
It is no secret that women have often faced barriers to advancement where men encounter bridges. Inconsistent opportunities, persistent pay gaps and a distinct lack of representation in senior decision-making roles has stalled women’s advancement to the point that the current pace of progress puts us 100 years away from gender equity in the C-Suite.
But change is on the horizon. The spirited conversation taking place on the national stage today about the importance of gender equity and fair treatment for women at work is important and encouraging. But we are not newcomers to helping women advance. WFF has been working for women’s advancement for almost 30 years and is out in front galvanizing the Food Industry to LEAD THE WAY to becoming one of the first industries to close the gender gap.
WFF’s comprehensive LEAD THE WAY gender equity will create competitive advantage for the Food Industry by increasing business performance and positioning our companies to win the war for talent. Our initiative starts with critical research and insights from convening the Food Industry’s first (and ongoing) participation in the Women in the Workplace Study and is progressing with our creation of the industry’s first Gender Equity Index (GEI) to measure year-over-year progress. With data from the GEI and other research sources, WFF will develop Success Roadmaps to chart the way forward for the industry, organizations and individuals committed to driving gender equity.
We have always known instinctively that creating gender equity is the fair thing to do, but an extensive body of research now makes it clear it is also the smart thing to do. It makes countries more competitive, companies more profitable and increases GDP per capita. It is simply good for business. Research by McKinsey & Company shows that gender diversity is correlated with both increased profitability and long-term value creation. (McKinsey & Company’s 2015 Why Diversity Matters).
In fact, McKinsey’s 2017 data set shows companies in the top quartile for executive-level gender diversity had a 21% likelihood of outperforming fourth-quartile industry peers on earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT). They also had a 27% likelihood of outperforming them on long-term value creation.
Increasing gender equity in the Food Industry specifically will address our pressing need for talent, drive better consumer insights (93% of household food purchases are directed by women) and increase organizational performance.
We see the Food Industry as the exemplar others will strive to emulate as one of the first to tap women’s potential and drive stronger organization performance. To transform our vision into reality, we have committed to bold action.
WFF has galvanized the INDUSTRY around this critical issue and is equipping Partner COMPANIES AND ORGANIZATIONS with the tools to build effective work cultures and developing INDIVIDUALS who are prepared to lead.
Drive CEO Engagement & Commitment to Culture
WFF has proactively galvanized the Food Industry around the compelling case for gender equity and is now equipping our Partner Companies with a Success Roadmap that provides validated, practical steps to promote gender equity. As a thought partner with industry leaders, we will share best practices proven to move the needle. We also reward and recognize leaders implementing innovative and successful initiatives that result in improvement in the representation of women.
Research shows that companies that make gender equity a priority at the senior level are twice as likely to place gender diversity among the top three priorities on their strategic agenda, to have strong support from the CEO and management, and to integrate gender diversity at all levels of the organization
Leaders of Leaders
Develop Leaders of Leaders
We understand that direction comes from the top and that implementation is most often carried out by managers with direct supervision of co-workers and teams. Therefore, we are committed to educating managers about critical gender equity issues such as unconscious bias, the Ambition Gap and fair hiring and promotion practices that address specific barriers to advancement.
We provide human resources and diversity & inclusion professionals with specific insights into recruiting, screening and hiring practices that can work for, or against, gender inclusion. And, provide development opportunities that empower managers in all functional areas to more effectively support women’s careers.
Of course, as the premier leadership development resource for women in the Food Industry, we offer extensive in-person and online education and powerful networking to enable women to grow their skills and careers. An area of particular focus is helping women strengthen their skills and interest in profit and loss (P&L) roles that are often the prerequisite to senior leadership positions.
Setting Targets and Tracking Progress
Our strategic alliances with external data sources enable us to build a critical body of objective insights to develop a data-driven process for increasing gender equity in the Food Industry.
Because you cannot manage (or improve) what you cannot measure, WFF is working with Partner Companies to set gender equity targets and track industry progress to build awareness and accountability. This includes creation of the industry’s first Gender Equity Index (GEI) to measure year-over-year progress and enable Partner Companies to benchmark their success against the industry as a whole and compared to peer organizations. Data from the GEI will provide the foundation for our Success Roadmaps for the industry, organizations and individuals.
Extensive research now makes it clear that gender diversity is correlated with both increased profitability and long-term value creation.
Numerous research sources, including McKinsey & Company’s 2015 Why Diversity Matters and their 2017 data set from the Women in the Workplace Study provide the insights. Companies in the top quartile for executive-level gender diversity had a 21% likelihood of outperforming fourth-quartile industry peers on earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT). They had a 27% likelihood of outperforming them on long-term value creation.
Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report found that companies with inclusive talent practices in hiring, promotion, development, leadership, and team management generate up to 30% higher revenue per employee and greater profitability than their competitors.
WFF’s alliances with numerous research sources enables us to vet and curate insights to help the Food Industry accelerate its progress in advancing women leaders. As the second largest employer of women in the United States, the Food Industry is committed to moving women from the frontlines to the C-Suite.
This will require heavy lifting. Fortunately, our industry is strong and so is our commitment.
1 in 5
Food Industry executives are women
DIVERSE ORGANIZATIONS BETTER UNDERSTAND THEIR CUSTOMER BASE
Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases and 93% of household food purchases
men are promoted beyond entry level for 100 women promoted
GENDER DIVERSITY IN LEADERSHIP IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS
Companies that lead in gender diversity are 21% more likely to have financial returns above the industry median.
At the current rate, it will take more than
years to reach gender equity in the C-suite
GENDER DIVERSITY WINS THE WAR FOR TALENT
Women have earned more college degrees than men for 35+ years. *
The 32 Convening Companies that were the first to participate in the 2017 Women in the Workplace Study and drive our gender equity initiative have launched a movement. As early adopters, these companies have set an example for their peers to emulate. We are pleased to honor them with the history-making LEAD THE WAY Pioneers Award.
Pictured left to right: David Gibbs, President & CFO, Yum! Brands (accepting for Greg Creed, CEO, Yum! Brands), Lisa Ingram, CEO, White Castle Management Co., Tom Bené, CEO, Sysco, Lorna Donatone, CEO, North America, Sodexo, Jeff King, CEO, Reinhart Foodservice, Denny Marie Post, CEO, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers & Brews, Kim Lopdrup, CEO, Red Lobster, Peter Mouskondis, CEO, Nicholas & Company, Wendy Davidson, President, U.S. Specialty Channels, Kellogg's (accepting for Steve Cahillane, CEO, Kellogg's), David A. Pace, CEO, Jamba Juice, Brian Griffith, Founder and Board Chair, Griffith Foods (accepting for TC Chatterjee, CEO, Griffith Foods), Rich Wolowski, CEO, Gordon Food Service, John C. Miller, CEO, Denny's, Rich Wolfson, SVP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (accepting for Sandra B. Cochran, CEO, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store), Susan Adzick, WFF Board Chair, SVP, Sales and Strategic Relationships, McLane Foodservice, Inc., Jim Dinkins, President, North America, Coca-Cola (accepting for James Quincey, CEO, Coca-Cola), Mike Sweet, CEO, Ben E. Keith Company, Rob Lynch, President, Arby's (accepting for Paul Brown, CEO, Arby's), Grady Rosier, CEO, McLane Company, Inc., Tom Zatina, President, McLane Foodservice, Inc., Clarice Turner, Former CEO, Boudin, Hattie Hill, President and CEO, WFF.
Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) got its start in 1989, when our founders decided to establish an organization to give a stronger voice to the advancement of women in the food industry and to advocate for resources women need to succeed.
WFF Today Today
With thousands of individuals and hundreds of employers, WFF's reach continues to grow, impacting individuals, organizations, and the Food Industry as a whole. Through events such as the Annual Leadership Development Conference, Executive Summit, and the Leadership Development Workshops, WFF helps organizations LEAD THE WAY to a more gender-balanced workplace, and helps individuals build their careers.
The Inspiration 1989
At the 1988 National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago, Peter Berlinski, then editor of Restaurant Business magazine , held a roundtable discussion to gather data on the state of women in the foodservice industry. The women who attended the roundtable talked about developing women for leadership talent and ensuring career advancement among executive women in the foodservice industry, which remained highly male-dominated – particularly within the leadership ranks. It was that gathering that inspired the formation of the Women’s Council in 1989, which evolved into the Women’s Foodservice Forum in 1990.