Celebrating the Women of Retail

💖 These women lead #poweredbyZipline brands

March 14, 2022

Who runs the world? Girls! But who runs the future of retail? 

In the wake of two years disrupted by a global pandemic along with social and political turmoil, consumers and employees alike are holding retailers to new standards. People expect the brands they love to be drivers of change in the community, especially when it comes to diversity and inclusion, environmental responsibility, and gender equality. 

Women are overrepresented in the retail industry, meaning that the effects of COVID-19 have disproportionately impacted women. The effects of loss of working times, furloughs, layoffs, and daycare facilities changing the way they operate all disproportionately impacts women across the entire retail vertical. And it isn’t just frontline workers that are affected, it’s also leadership. While there are a lot of women working in the retail space, the number of women in the C-suite is actually dwindling. Today, only 8.2% of CEOs in the Fortune 500 are women. The upheaval of retail throughout the pandemic has presented an opportunity for brands to recognize more women in power, many of which have been driven by the positive contributions of female leaders. 

We know that gender diversity improves the strength of brands, so it is crucial to keep this conversation going, now more than ever. It’s time to recognize women changing the retail landscape and laying the foundation for the next generation of female leaders. What better time to honor these leaders who are making history than during Women’s History Month?

In honor of International Womens Day, we partnered with RetailToday to recognize women changing the retail landscape and laying the foundation for the next generation of female leaders.

There are 50 incredible women who made the list… but these are a few who are near and dear to our hearts as women who lead brands that are part of the Zipline family. 

It has been an honor to serve iconic women-led retail brands and to know that we’re also promoting the growth and development of women.

Suzanne Kiggin, VP, Operations, American Signature, Inc.

“I took the time to work through several different roles in the field, only moving to the home office when I felt confident and prepared to represent and advocate for the stores and employees who were working the front lines,” says Suzanne.

See how Suzanne advocates for frontline workers.

Meredith Anton, Sr. IT Director Retail and Market Support, Parallel

“(Zipline) has fundamentally and significantly improved the operational efficiency of the staff who are essential to our company’s revenue,” Meredith says. “My team is the wind beneath my wings and I simply could not do my job without them.”

Read how Meredith rolled up her sleeves to get the work done, even when it might have been easier for a male counterpart.

Jacqueline DeChamps, Chief Retail Officer, Visionworks of America

“I believe the best ideas come from the stores, and as we focus on curating and promoting the ideas of the many, we build a diverse, inclusive, and equitable culture,” says Jacqueline.

Read how Jacqueline envisions the future ahead.

Shelley Stormo, Director of Retail Operations, PharmaCann

“We rely heavily on each other and leverage each other’s strengths so we can get better every day,” says Shelley. 

Read how Shelley is shaping an entire industry

Melissa Wong, CEO and Co-Founder, Zipline

The other brands on this list are powered by Zipline. But we would be remiss not to acknowledge that Zipline is #poweredbywomen.

“Retail is the most populous job in America, so we believe that if we can make an impact on the way that frontline retail workers operate, we’re really transforming the way the entire industry works,” Melissa says.

Learn more about how Mel is crossing the chasm.

Helping organizations mobilize for the future is what we do best at Zipline. We empower retailers to lead with purpose.

Inspired to learn more? If you need a better way to communicate changes to the fleet and keep everyone aligned, let’s chat.

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