Women’s History Month 2021: Our Opportunity to Celebrate, Educate and Energize

Reflecting on the longstanding movement for gender equality and the inspirational female leaders who played key roles in this journey, it’s important to come together and shine a bright light on their tireless efforts striving for equality in voice and opportunity. Knowing that the journey continues today, I believe it’s up to each of us to take some time this month to honor their mission, admire their courage, and celebrate their successes in shaping a more equal future for all.

After all, following in their footsteps — in ways big and small — is the only way we will be able to continue the march of progress for our generation and those who follow us.

It’s Also Good Business

Promoting the advancement of women isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s good for business. And not just our business; any business, as research shows. McKinsey, Forbes and Catalyst have all released data confirming that companies are more successful when they have more representation of women in leadership roles. It’s all about diversity in thinking and style.

In fact, according to Pew Research Center, many give women the edge on several aspects of corporate leadership. Women often bring a healthy and productive balance to the teams they lead. We also tend to lead with softer skills and are more empathetic, strive for fairness, are more collaborative and team oriented, value relationships, listen better, are stronger multi-taskers and demonstrate higher emotional intelligence. And, while more women are rising up in the corporate ranks, there are still significant gaps in the number of women who hold top-level positions.

Reflecting on this paradox provides yet another reason for why Women’s History Month is so important: as we consider how far we’ve come, let’s not forget how far we can go.

Let’s Celebrate Our Successes

So, back to the moment at hand. This is a month to celebrate women and, thanks to the tireless efforts of so many, we have much to celebrate at 7‑Eleven.

  • Our CEO, Joe DePinto, and the company’s senior leaders, all believe in and actively support the advancement of women at 7‑Eleven.
  • We have seen the hiring and promotion of many talented women across the organization, including within 7‑Eleven’s C-suite of senior leaders.
  • Our annual Emerging Brands Showcase intentionally includes diverse brands and founders.
  • 7-Ventures, our corporate venturing arm focused on startup investments, has a stated annual target of 50% of investments in businesses with diverse founders, CEOs and management teams.
  • The 7‑Eleven Network of Executive Women (7NEW) associate resource group is now in its third year with strong engagement from members and a number of focused programming events including our annual networking reception and a high-energy Women’s Leadership Summit.

We’ve come a long way thanks to an entire community of passionate people. Thank you to everyone who continues to foster and support equality in all its forms both inside and outside of 7‑Eleven. Our world is a much brighter place thanks to each of you, and I truly believe that translates to our success with our Franchisees, business partners and suppliers, and ultimately our customers.

Kelly Buckley
Vice President, Restaurant Platforms and Chair, 7NEW