The NEW Future Fund is a two-year $5 million capital campaign designed to expand the resources and capabilities of the Network of Executive Women and advance gender parity in the retail and consumer goods industry. The Fund builds on NEW’s 2020 research and strategic plan to remove barriers to women’s leadership and drive change in the retail and consumer goods industry.
The mission of the NEW Future Fund is to achieve 50/50 gender parity in the retail and consumer goods industry.
The NEW Future Fund will significantly expand NEW’s e-learning programs, and increase the organization’s capabilities to accelerate women into leadership roles. The Fund will leverage new technology to provide organizational insights; talent best practices; leadership development; on-demand learning and content; and communities and tools to help our members, partners and regions connect, engage, collaborate and grow. The Future Fund will support new technology that will allow us the triple the number of members we serve.
Despite the strong business case that demonstrates that more women in leadership roles equals improved business performance, we need to catalyze significant progress towards women’s advancement. Women make up 55 percent of the retail workforce1 and do almost two-thirds of the shopping,2 but retail and consumer goods trails other industries in the share of women leaders.3 It’s time to make our industry the leading destination for diverse talent and drive innovation and business growth in our industry.
Women’s leadership is widely recognized as the key to value creation today: McKinsey says the “correlation between organizational excellence and women’s participation in management bodies is striking.” Catalyst reports that having women in leadership increases return on equity 35 percent.4 Studies by the London School of Business5 and the Center for Talent Innovation6 conclude that inclusion is critical to innovation — and that innovation is critical to growth.
NEW starts this initiative with 15 years of experience advancing industry women and a committed community of nearly 10,500 members, 105 corporate partners and 20 regional groups. We are focused on the five critical success factors that global CEOs care about: Growth, competition, diversity, partnership and technology. The NEW Future Fund will enable us to vastly expand our HR insights and analytics, learning and leadership development, and community and collaboration, giving your organization resources to advance women leaders faster, grow business and make our industry the leading destination for diverse talent.
NEW original research and insights — including our landmark Accelerators, Tapestry and Women 2020 reports — have ignited dialogue and impacted thousands, building awareness of the power of women’s leadership and inclusion. Our NEW Career Accelerator ModelTM and 360 feedback tool — based on surveys with thousands of industry members — has helped us identify the competency needs of women leaders in our industry. The NEW Future Fund will help us create gender specific insights and analytics on your company’s progress in advancing women and offer customized solutions to help you improve. This includes talent best practices; employee experiences, including insights on barriers and supports; industry benchmarking; analytics and trends on women’s advancement.
NEW is the industry’s largest women’s leadership learning community, impacting tens of thousands of industry members each year through two North American conferences, three signature learning programs, online webinars, industry outreach and more than 140 regional events. NEW also offers networking and leadership development to more than 1,000 NEW volunteers each year. NEW learning – based on our NEW Career Accelerator ModelTM — helps employees at all levels and works hand-in-hand with your organization’s existing career development programs. The NEW Future Fund will expand and enhance our learning programs, delivering on-demand, online learning for individuals; group training for teams; and expert content on the industry’s latest talent trends. Your on-site and virtual teams get NEW support wherever they are, whenever they need it.
NEW members represent every demographic, background and job level in the industry. They come from nearly 1,000 companies, 105 corporate partners and 20 regions in the U.S. and Canada. The NEW Future Fund will help us expand our membership base, increase our inclusion and provide programs and platforms to help diverse communities come together to engage, collaborate and connect. The Fund will leverage technology to amplify our reach and unleash the power of our members. Our vastly expanded membership will offer more role models, mentors and coaches. New community groups will provide a sense of affinity and industry connection. These communities will serve as incubators that develop new generation leaders, improving retention and accelerating both women’s advancement and men’s engagement. NEW communities will engage local business resource groups and minority- and women-owned companies to create a rich learning and leadership ecosystem where women — and their organizations — can achieve their best.
While the largest share of our financial contributions are expected from corporations and foundations, everyone with an interest in gender parity and the future of the retail and consumer goods industry can contribute.
Transforming NEW and achieving gender parity in our industry is an enormous undertaking. While corporate contributions, memberships and event fees provide for day-to-day operating expenses, they are not sufficient to finance this historic expansion of our organization and our mission. We need the NEW Future Fund.
The NEW Future Fund is co-chaired by Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Inc., and Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target Corporation. Each of the organizations have become lead donors to the NEW Future Fund, pledging $500,000 each.
NEW is asking senior leaders to do three things: First, commit to 50/50 gender parity in your organization, from emerging leaders to the boardroom. Second, actively promote and advocate for women’s leadership, inside and outside your company (you can share your thoughts on social media using #ournewfuture). And third, financially support NEW’s Future Fund. You have a strong voice in your company and in our industry. Others follow your lead. Help NEW grow so we can help your organization, your industry and your legacy. To learn more and access resources for leaders at all levels, visit ournewfuture.org. Follow the Fund on social media using #ournewfuture.
1. Catalyst, Women CEOs of the S&P 500, 2015.
2. Nielsen Consumer, March 11, 2011.
3. “Women in Business, The Path Forward,” Grant Thornton, 2015
4. “The Bottom Line: Connecting Corporate Performance and Gender Diversity,” Catalyst, 2004.
5. “Innovation Potential, Men and Women in Teams,” London School of Business, 2007.
6. “How Diversity and Inclusion Drive Innovation,” Hewitt, Marshall and Sherbin (CTI), Harvard Businesss Review, December 2013.