By: Cindy Sorensen, CEO of The Grocery Group and WGA Board Member
The statistics are alarming; women are leaving the grocery industry at a rate four times that of men; the turnover rate for women in first and mid-level managerial positions is 24%; the turnover for women in executive roles is 27%. Retention is a challenge and many factors are contributing to it. Leading the list of reasons women leave the grocery industry, is that there are fewer female role models at higher levels in their organizations to whom they can look for leadership development.
In addition, at a time when many industries are faced with challenges of attracting, recruiting and retaining a qualified workforce, these additional challenges in our industry to also have a diverse workforce, need to be addressed in order to be relevant to our employees, our customers and our consumers.
The National Grocers Association (NGA) recognizes the need our industry has to be more relevant to women seeking to enter this industry, or those who are already employed here. Women Grocers of America (WGA) was developed as an NGA special program and it is the sole organization representing female grocers and other women affiliated with the independent food industry. WGA specifically serves as NGA’s career development network for active female professionals as well as students interested in pursuing independent retail grocery careers. The mission of WGA is to promote the recruitment, growth, development, and empowerment of women within the independent grocery industry. WGA’s objectives focus on networking, recognition and education. Activities include mentoring programs, networking opportunities at NGA events, scholarships, and the Woman of the Year award.
Membership is open to any woman affiliated with an independent retailer, wholesaler, manufacturer, service supplier, or state/local association that maintains membership in NGA. Women throughout all levels in the industry, as well as students, are welcome and encouraged to join!