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Kicking Glass: Action plan marks Alter’s first year as CEO

Sarah Alter talking

The Network of Executive Women is marking the first anniversary of Sarah Alter’s tenure as CEO with an action plan calling for sweeping changes to advance women leaders.

“Kicking Glass: An Action Plan for Gender Diversity” is a follow up to NEW’’s “Female Leadership Crisis” report released in March. It urges companies to act on eight key strategies to “finally move the needle on women’s leadership.”

“The time for companies to act is now,” NEW President and CEO Sarah Alter said. “We are losing women leaders at alarming rates. Companies cannot afford to lose these valuable women leaders — and they don’t have to.”

Whirlwind year

The action plan culminates a busy first year for Alter, who was named NEW president and CEO in June 2017. 

Under Alter’s leadership, NEW has expanded into the financial services and tech industries, hired new leaders, redesigned its website, forged new relationships with allies, signed new partners, established metrics and scorecards to measure change, and begun strategic learning, membership and marketing initiatives. 

Alter has been to nearly all 21 NEW regions in her first year, attended dozens of NEW regional and industry events, and met with hundreds of NEW members, partners and allies across the country.

“NEW is on the move,” Alter said. "As a result of action-oriented insights like this, NEW is developing new corporate solutions and learning programs. This paper provides the framework, and we are partnering with our stakeholders to take action.

"NEW and our 21 regional communities are a powerful force to support change," she added. "This is the moment for gender equality and, while much remains to be done, NEW has never been better positioned to help advance all women.”  

About the plan

“Kicking Glass: An Action Plan for Gender Equality” urges companies to act on eight strategies:

  • Senior-leader commitment to gender equality
  • Transparency and accountability on diversity goals
  • Gender-neutral pay policies
  • Family-friendly practices
  • An inclusive growth environment
  • Equal access to training
  • Confronting bias
  • Developing women leaders

The “Kicking Glass” action plan is based on surveys of more than 3,600 NEW members, executive interviews and hiring, promotion and turnover data representing 400,000 employees in the consumer goods and retail industry. The research identified numerous factors driving women away or preventing them from advancing, such as isolation, lack of role models, bias and lack of support during crucial personal and professional pivot points.

Download the PDF