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Takeaways From the 2018 Women in Retail Leadership Summit

Last week, Iterable visited Miami to attend the Women in Retail Leadership Summit. Over the course of three insightful days, we heard stories from some incredible women who are major players in the retail space.

Overall, it was an inspiring conference rich with lessons learned, unique perspectives and actionable takeaways for professional development and self-empowerment. As we recap, we want to share highlights from some of our favorite sessions that are worth revisiting.

Grand Opening Keynote: The Personal Journey of Paula Bennett

Paula Bennett, J.Jill

Paula Bennett, former president and CEO of J.Jill, recanted the impactful events which shaped her career and shared her principles that helped her to define success.

Stay curious. Keep learning. Keep teaching.
We all know success is deeply rooted in hard work, but staying motivated and pushing ourselves constantly is a challenge. When you find this happening, take time to detach and think about what in your job or career evokes your curiosity. Identifying and pursuing these drivers can help you align your personal and professional passions to reinspire yourselves and others.

Be okay with not having all the answers all the time.
Shouldering the burden of attempting to know it all is exhausting—and also unnecessary. We put tremendous pressure on ourselves to have the right answer and response to every question and situation, but we often forget that this simply isn’t possible. Learning to discover the perspective which can help us better understand the context and nature of the questions we face is more important in the long run.

Set clear goals as a team. Execute and celebrate together.
This seems straightforward, but often something that goes overlooked. Clarity when it comes to goal setting and execution strategy goes a long way, especially in large team environments. We’re all invested in achieving our goals—individual and team—and celebrating milestones and achievements together encourages recognition and unity.

Show compassion for others.
Simple and straightforward, but easy to forget in a hectic corporate environment. The “human element” helps great brands thrive, but it’s us, the individuals, who make this element possible. We all face challenges in our day to day and a little compassion when it comes to “seeing” each other as humans, not just departmental “roles” of a business, is something we can all be better at.

Finding the White Space

Ali Weiss, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Glossier || Cassie Heppner, Director of Global Marketing at Timberland PRO || Marie Tillman, Founder & CEO of Mac & Mia

What is white space? It’s where needs are not being met. It’s where a gap can be filled. It’s the opportunity for innovation. It’s where you can differentiate yourself from your competition!

Cassie Heppner, Timberland PRO

Discover a purpose.
Finding a calling that motivates you professionally can steer you toward accomplishing the best work of your career. For Cassie Heppner, she discovered her purpose at Timberland PRO and championed the conversation around getting women their seat at construction workplace table. Invigorated by her realization, she was then able to align her product strategy with her purpose and found even greater success.

Ali Weiss, Glossier

Unconventional doesn’t mean wrong.
Ali Weiss co-created the beauty brand Glossier around the fact that “beauty isn’t made in a boardroom—it happens when the individual is celebrated.” Glossier found their brand’s success by avoiding telling consumers what to buy, what to like, or what to use. Instead, Glossier is part of their customer’s own process. Their values are reflected throughout their entire business model and their website states it best: “Personal choice is the most important decision a brand can never make.”

Marie Tillman, Mac & Mia

Distinct points of view.
How did Mac & Mia, a personalized at-home children’s clothing retailer, found their success in a crowded market? The team took a distinct point of view and focused on providing a highly curated shopping experience. Company founder and CEO, Marie Tillman, was willing to take the risk of creating an atypical shopping experience for parents.

In the company’s early days, she was careful to recognize the “aha!” moments and then incorporate those moments of clarity back into the company’s operations. Like any fledgling business, she understood the importance of making decisions quickly without hindering process—but she also was cognizant of recognizing that some decisions can’t be rushed and need careful consideration. Finding this balance proved critical in achieving many of the company’s most important milestones.

These were just a few of our top takeaways from this year’s Women in Retail Leadership Summit. It was a great event to be a part of and we look forward to learning more next year!

If we missed you during Women In Retail Leadership Summit, make sure to tune into our webinar this Thursday, as Forrester Research shares their findings on the financial gains from omni-channel marketing.

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