5 Questions with Robert Solomon
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Posted by: Barbara Francella
Executive Institute, a 12-month leadership development experience for women
executives in the retail and consumer goods industry, is accepting applications
until June 26, 2015. The one-of-a-kind program is designed to advance
individual leaders and create stronger organizations. The NEW Executive
Institute is spearheaded by NEW Director of Talent Development Robert Solomon,
who recently gave us a peek inside the Institute — and how it will help
transform the industry and the careers of the 36 women chosen to participate.
What industry and
workplace trends led to the development of the NEW Executive Institute?
Our industry leaders know U.S. women have tremendous — and
growing — purchasing power, estimated to up to $15 trillion annually. They control
nearly 73 percent of household spending — and Canadian women report
controlling or influencing more than 67 percent of their household spending.
Yet while women represent almost half of the U.S. retail
industry's total workforce, they are fewer than one in five corporate officers
and one in 20 CEOs. The NEW Executive Institute is an intentional effort to
help close the persistent gender gap in our industry's leadership.
development needs does it address, specifically?
The NEW Executive Institute is designed to develop the
traits that senior executives and industry research have identified as
game-changing skills and characteristics for executive success in our industry.
Its foundation is the NEW Career Accelerator Model, created
in partnership with the renowned Center for Creative Leadership exclusively to
support women’s professional development in our industry. The model outlines
eight key career competencies and five derailers that, frankly, make or break
your career. [Download the NEW special report "Accelerators:
Critical Competencies for Women Leaders in Retail and Consumer Goods."]
The NEW Career Accelerator Model lays the groundwork for the
NEW Executive Institute's three off-site immersion sessions, its webinars and
conference calls, one-on-one coaching sessions, and ongoing education and
Coaches who are certified by the Center for Creative
Leadership will be customizing the learning experience to the women selected to
participate. This way, we create a supportive
environment where these emerging women executives can take risks, make mistakes
and get real-time feedback from peers. Few women have the opportunity to
receive a 360-assessment that pinpoints their strengths and areas for
improvement that are critical to advancing their careers. It's all about increasing
women's self-awareness of their performance and leadership ability.
Who would best
benefit from the NEW Executive Institute?
The program is designed for women leaders who are already
transforming society and the industry through their outstanding professional
record, organizational advancement and societal contributions. It's tailor-fitted for high-potential women who are three to five tiers from the top of their organization’s hierarchy. NEW desires to
support and develop these leaders for increased responsibility
by bolstering their skillsets and networks through cutting-edge research,
leading industry experts and whole-self support.
How are you choosing
the first group of women from the applications you receive?
The first step is to complete the online
application, which is designed to help NEW assess the basic criteria for
the program. (For more, see the NEW Executive Institute prospectus.)
Applications will be reviewed by the NEW Education Committee, with an eye for applicants who have had a mix of professional experiences and recognized growth
potential. They will also be reviewed for how they contribute to the overall
picture of the cohort. We'd like to select a group that reflects a mix of
retailers and manufacturers, across functions, with diverse experiences and
backgrounds. Applicants who aren't selected for this year’s cohort because they
did not meet the selection criteria will be invited to participate in the NEW
Rising Stars program. If a woman meets the criteria but isn't accepted due to
the limited program capacity, she'll automatically be accepted into the next
NEW Executive Institute cohort.
How will the NEW Executive
Institute experience continue after the last session?
All NEW Executive Institute alumni are automatically lifelong
members of the Alumni Support Network, designed to promote their continued
growth by nurturing their relationships with NEW, sponsoring organizations, and,
most importantly, other alumni. The Alumni Support Network includes web-based
social media and annual invitations to participate in alumni sessions and NEW
programs such as the NEW Leadership Summit and our 20 regions' events. We will
host an annual NEW Executive Institute session, a day and a half of leadership
By providing effective tools and valuable experiences that
push emerging executive women to the next level, we are supporting our own
mission to advance women, grow business and transform our industry's workplace.
more information about the NEW Executive Institute, contact Vice President of
Marketing & Corporate Partnership Nancy
Krawczyk or Director of Corporate Partnerships Reagan
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