Creating paths for women’s career advancement

Jody Pinson of Wal-Mart Stores, Judi Kletz of Procter & Gamble, Sabrina Wiewel of Hallmark, and Nancy Krawczyk of the Network of Executive Women, pictured above, participated in a panel on Monday about the challenges women face in leadership positions.

BOSTON — A panel of female executives met Monday morning to examine the many challenges women continue to face reaching leadership positions, and how their own companies were addressing those challenges and adapting their cultures to create new pathways for advancement for women executives.

Moderator Nancy Krawczyk, VP sales and marketing for the Network of Executive Women set the table with a quick review of the network’s new report, “Women 2020: The future of women’s leadership in retail and consumer goods.”

One area the report addressed is the issue of the “motherhood penalty.” “Working moms start at lower salaries, are promoted less frequently and are often passed over for new assignments because assumptions are made … that they’re too busy,” Krawczyk said. 

Joining Krawczyk on the panel were Jody Pinson, VP beauty merchandising for Wal-Mart Stores; Judi Kletz, associate director of industry reputation and influence/North American customer business development for Procter & Gamble; and Sabrina Wiewel, VP/GM national chain drug for Hallmark.

Kletz discussed how P&G is using its brands to educate the public and leveraging social media to help tackle such deep-rooted and often unconscious biases about women as being viewed as either “too nice” or “too bossy.”

One example Kletz noted was the YouTube campaign “Always #LikeAGirl,” which has received more than 47 million views. 

Wiewel, who also is Asian-American, discussed the “double-double bind” that faces multicultural women in business and the steps Hallmark had taken to create paths for advancement. More than 10% of Hallmark’s mid-level managers and 10% of its senior leadership are multicultural and female.

Pinson talked about the many steps Walmart had taken under former CEO Mike Duke to help empower women in leadership roles, including the company’s $20 billion commitment to helping advance women-owned businesses.

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