Hattie Hill hosted the Women’s Foodservice Forum’s Annual Leadership Development Conference (WFF’S ALDC) March 4-7 in Dallas, TX. Photo: Hattie Hill/Twitter
by Twins of Media
In its 29th year, WFF’s ALDC brought together more than 3,000 food industry professionals, from emerging leaders to C-suite executives. Participants chose from more than 30 leadership development workshops and listened to more than 50 best-selling authors and leadership experts. The conference represented more than 200 food industry Fortune 1000 companies that have made a commitment to support the advancement of women leaders. Beautifully Said Magazine spoke with President and CEO Hattie Hill on the role WFF plays in gender equity for women in 2018.
What is always the goal of the conference?
The Women’s Foodservice Forum provides leadership development for the food industry. Our critical core businesses is operators, manufacturers and distributors. Our goal is to train their women leaders to enhance their skills and improve their careers. Those who attend are CEO’s from some of the largest (operators, manufacturers and distributing) industries down to their emerging leaders.
Let’s talk about gender equity. Why is it so important?
Gender equity is important because it allows us the opportunity to overcome some of the barriers that impact women in the workplace. The goal really is to help women live their whole self. To be great leaders, better citizens in their community. All of it depends on women having the confidence, expertise and financial resources because pay equity is also a big piece of the puzzle.
Since the focus here is women in the workplace can you share your insight on the #MeToo and #Timesup movement?
My company has spent a lot of time talking about this particular conversation because it has been at the top of everyone’s radar. However, WFF started to look at the barriers impacting women back in 2017, with sexual harassment as one of them…so we’ve been on this journey a little bit longer. Our goal is to help women wherever they are to overcome those biases and barriers so they can lead in a different way and support other women.
Tell us something about WFF that can help women in their careers?
The thing we want all women leaders to know is the food industry is the second largest behind the U.S. Government in the country. You can start anywhere in your career and go everywhere in the food industry. There are lots of opportunities. We have major suppliers, operators and manufacturers across the food industry who are there for women—to help them learn skills to advance as leaders. Most importantly, we are launching our ‘Lead the Way’ initiative where we really focus in on the advancement of women and have on board CEO’s from major companies and big voices to help with this initiative.
WFF’S ALDC included speakers Maria Shriver, Gretchen Carlson and Michelle Obama
In doing these events throughout the years what do you look for the most?
Our team here at the office; the staff and the board of directors, everyone works really hard. The WFF is our largest event of the year. There are usually over 3,000 people who attend. We are here late at night and return early in the morning. It’s really all for one reason, and that is to see the smiles on these women’s faces to feel that they feel important and empowered. We know as a team that when women walk out of the conferences they do so differently then when they came in.
Connect @womenfoodserviceforum on social media
ABOUT WOMEN’S FOODSERVICE FORUM
Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) is the industry’s premier leadership development organization working since 1989 to advance women in the food industry. Based in Dallas, WFF serves thousands of individuals and hundreds of employers across North America in all segments of the industry including operators, manufacturers and distributors, as well as the broader food ecosystem. WFF supports women by providing tools and resources to build leadership competencies that enhance career advancement. The organization also convenes critical research sources to establish industry metrics and benchmarks and assists partner companies with implementing best practices and measuring year-over-year gender equity progress for their organizations. For more information, visit wff.org.
Source: Zakiya Larry, Quest Media Training