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WFF Research Study Identifies Key Factors And Competencies For Leadership Development And Advancment To The C-Suite

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Findings Released In "A Roadmap To The C-Suite" White Paper Sponsored By Rich Products

DALLAS, July 24, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With sights set on gender parity on executive teams, WFF--the trusted leadership development organization in the foodservice sector--and Kenexa--an IBM company that is a pioneer in employee research and workforce performance-announce the release of - "A Roadmap to the C-Suite", a white paper detailing the findings of its year-long research study on the factors and competencies that influence women's leadership development and advancement to the C-Suite.

The white paper will be debuted at the 12th Annual WFF 2014 Executive Summit being held July 28-30 in New Orleans where more than 200 executives will be in attendance to deepen leadership skills and explore future trends.  "A Roadmap to the C-Suite" will be made available to the public July 29th, by download on the WFF website – www.wff.org.  Rich Products Corporation, global food supplier to the foodservice, in-store bakery and retail market places, provided a significant grant to fund the research.

"We conducted this research study to gain an understanding of the key competencies and factors that have contributed to success for those who have already achieved C-level roles," said Hattie Hill, WFF President & CEO. "This information will be used to assist women in purposefully and strategically developing their career progression roadmap for advancement to the C-suite. "

During this survey, WFF members were asked to respond to a series of questions related to the critical factors that influenced their success at different levels of their careers (Emerging Leader [Managers], Emerging Executive [Directors], Executive [Vice Presidents], C-Suite [CXO]).  The research study results point to several valuable conclusions that influence women's success in achieving the highest levels of leadership, and correlate to WFF's Leadership Competency Model.  Results include:

  • Early in their careers, women at the top gained competence in delivering results and demonstrating financial acumen. Pivotal competencies such as Strategic Thinking and Visioning and understanding the business climate, become most critical in their ascension to the C-suite.
  • Executive leaders are confident and take action. They are not easily deterred, even when the stakes and the pressures are high.
  • Executive leaders drive for results and aren't afraid to take risks to gain success. They are more willing to push themselves out of their comfort zones to take on new assignments, experiences and roles - even if they don't think they are fully prepared.
  • Regardless of functional expertise, building overall business and financial acumen has been important in their career growth and success.
  • Most set their sights on the top spots early in their careers by establishing career goals and following personal development plans.
  • Women who eventually reach the C-suite often progressed through lower levels of leadership far quicker than those whose careers plateaued at lower levels.
     

Currently, only 17 percent of directors and 14 percent of C-Suite executives at Fortune 500 companies are women.(1)  By recognizing the key factors that have proven successful for women currently in top business positions, we can best develop leaders and increase the representation of women in the C-suite and boardroom.

"We are thankful for Rich's sponsorship of the research study and longtime support of the WFF mission of advancing women leaders," said Hill.  "The key findings will enable us to continuously evolve our training and development for our members, at all levels of their careers."

"It was of the utmost importance for Rich's to support this endeavor as it mirrors the value our organization places on career development and advancing women leaders," said Bill Gisel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rich Products Corporation, headquartered in Buffalo, N.Y. "We too will use the study findings to reinforce our current career development strategies, and we also are very proud of the positive implications this will have on the industry at large."

(1) http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/25/business/economy/for-american-women-is-it-enough-to-lean-in.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0   

ABOUT WFF 
WFF is the industry's premier leadership development organization with more than 25 years of experience advancing women in the foodservice industry. WFF serves thousands of individuals and hundreds of employers in all segments of the industry including operations, manufacturing, distribution, publishing, consulting, and more. Through highly effective and educational events such as the Annual Leadership Development Conference, Executive Summit and Regional Connects as well as professional development and networking opportunities, WFF provides the competence, content and strategic connections needed to make a positive difference in the careers of women in the foodservice industry. For more information, visit wff.org.

ABOUT RICH PRODUCTS
Rich Products Corporation is a family-owned global food company defined by innovation and an unparalleled commitment to treating its customers, associates, and communities the same way… Like Family. Since 1945, Rich's has been committed to developing food solutions that raise the standards for quality, safety, convenience and efficiency for its customers. As a leading supplier to the global foodservice, in-store bakery and retail marketplaces, Rich's posts annual sales of $3.3 billion, operates 36 manufacturing facilities spanning six continents, and employs more than 9,200 people across the world. Additional company information can be found online (www.richs.com), on Facebook (Rich Products) and via Twitter (@RichProducts). 

ABOUT KENEXA
Kenexa Corporation (NYSE:KNXA) helps drive HR and business outcomes through its unique combination of technology, content and services. Enabling organizations to optimize their workforces since 1987, Kenexa's integrated talent acquisition and talent management solutions have touched the lives of more than 110 million people. Additional information about Kenexa and its global products and services can be accessed at www.kenexa.com.

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