Network of Executive Women President and CEO Sarah Alter told a crowd of 200 executives that business needs to advance more women leaders and transform the workplace if it’s going to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.
Alter was the lead speaker at the 10th anniversary celebration of the organization’s NEW Chicago region, held August 24 at the U.S. headquarters of Mars Wrigley in Chicago.
“When it comes to women in business, progress has been slower than expected,” according to Alter. “While women today make up nearly half the work force in the retail and consumer goods industry, less than one-quarter hold the position of senior vice president and only 13 percent are C-suite officers. “With very few exceptions,” noted Alter, “our corner offices and boardrooms are still dominated by men.”
Alter has been crisscrossing the country the past several weeks holding a listening tour with members and businesses. “I’ve had the opportunity to hear what members and corporate partners are saying,” noted Alter. “These past few weeks have been inspirational.”
Alter believes that NEW can be instrumental in helping change how the industry elevates women. “Change can occur if we apply strategies designed to change behavior from the top down and from the bottom up. Closer collaborations with corporate partners and greater opportunities for professional development can help meet the realities and expectations of today’s workforce.”
Alter joined NEW on June 6, with strong business and digital marketing experience. She was the chief marketing officer of General Growth Properties (GGP) leading its B2C and B2B marketing strategies. Prior to GGP, she was vice president of the Portfolio division of Discover Financial Services, managing $100 billion in sales.