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Lead Europe 2019: Doing Not Trying—Results Matter in Diversity and Inclusion

Nielsen held center stage last week at the LEAD (Leading Executives Advancing Diversity) Network Event 2019 in Madrid. Hosted by the LEAD Network, a European organization that advocates for the retention and advancement of women in the retail and consumer goods industry in Europe, the annual conference gathers senior leaders across the industry to highlight leading industry practices to improve gender diversity and inclusion.

Throughout this year’s two-day conference, Nielsen’s leaders helped guide the conversation with recent Nielsen research into the realities female consumers face. In today’s increasingly crowded marketplace, businesses need to understand women’s needs to engage with them authentically. And for many companies today, that increasingly means driving results in gender equality both for their employees and for their consumers.

In a CEO Panel Discussion entitled Doing not Trying—Results Matter, executives from Kimberly-Clark, Unilever and Carrefour joined Regan Leggett, Executive Director Thought Leadership and Foresight, Global Markets, Nielsen, to discuss the rising importance of the female “wallet.” Our research found that 50% of women have the sole responsibility for shopping and product decisions in the household—compared to just 10% for men. As female participation in the workforce continues to grow, additional responsibility within the home offers a unique chance for companies to help women and earn their business.

By 2028, women will control close 75% of discretionary spending worldwide. By offering faster, healthier and easier ways to make household purchases, brands will help women when they are often forced to juggle.

Panelists underlined the importance of having their teams reflect their consumer base so that they can accurately understand their customer’s needs. This sentiment was shared by Nielsen CEO David Kenny, who signed the LEAD Network’s CEO Pledge this year, pledging to increase the number of women in senior leadership roles at Nielsen to 46% by 2021.  

Executives shared the need to ensure that doors are opened for all women to get to higher levels of the company. In 2017, the percentage of females in senior leadership positions in European FMCG companies was just 25%. In two years, this percentage has increased to 34% in 2019.

Pat Dodd, Global Connect President and Chief Commercial Officer said, “Nielsen is one of the 23 companies globally who have signed the LEAD Network CEO Pledge so far, emphasizing our commitment to increase the number of women in senior leadership roles globally. We are on the right track, but there is still much more work to do. I’m excited to be working to effect positive change at Nielsen.”

Photo courtesy of the LEAD Network.