Convenience Store News

JUL 2015

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72 Convenience Store News | JULY 2015 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM Top Women in Convenience Expert's View ronment where diversity is valued — can make a company much stronger." THe diverSiTy dividend At Speedway, diverse talent has empowered team members to approach day-to-day work from more perspectives, which leads to more solutions that meet the needs of the company's customers, shareholders, employees and neighbors. "You won't find many other businesses that com- pete with one another by changing the price of one of their primary retail products on a daily basis," Beth said. "So, it's only natural that we're continually look- ing for factors that can give us the edge. Attracting and retaining the best talent is one of the most impor- tant of those factors. In all its forms, diversity is a tre- mendous competitive advantage to industries. "And I mention 'all its forms' for a reason," she continued. "We all benefit from a workplace that reflects our communities, our customers and our busi- ness partners. That means race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and gender. It also can mean other factors that distinguish one employee from another — political or generational differences, for example. "To tap the competitive advantages of a diverse work- place, we work hard to make sure our workplace is attrac- tive to the people we want to bring in and keep. That includes the physical setup of the offices, the way our man- agement interacts with employees, and much more." nOT JuST An Add-On At Speedway, diversity isn't just "an add-on." "I'm an accountant by training," she told me, "but when there was an opportunity to work in sales, pur- chasing and investor relations — all of which helped give me the breadth of experience needed for my cur- rent position — I gladly accepted the assignments." It's also important to manage your career and take risks. "Some of the positions I took were outside my comfort zone, but it's very rare for anyone to make great career leaps while remaining in a comfortable position," she said. "And, of course, some career moves don't work out and you'll have to correct your course. Taking risks is an important part of advancement." Research from the Network of Executive Women (NEW) and other organizations demonstrates the strong business case for women's leadership. This is especially true in the highly competitive c-store indus- try and at Speedway, specifically, according to Beth. "The business case for women in leadership is part of the larger business case for pursuing diver- sity and inclusion in all we do: talent acquisition, retention, training, supplier diversity and advancing senior leadership," she said. "We all recognize that a wide variety of experience, leadership styles and ways of thinking — especially in an inclusive envi- This is the second in a four-part series of exclusive educational columns by the Network of Executive Women (NEW), leading up to the 2015 Convenience Store News Top Women in Convenience awards in October. In addition to being a presentation sponsor for the Top Women in Convenience program, NEW and CSNews have partnered to develop this series of columns directed at helping corporate lead- ers drive more inclusive company cultures. More than 50 of the convenience store industry's top female executives, managers and mentors will be honored at the second- annual Top Women in Convenience awards presentation, being held during the 2015 NACS Show in Las Vegas. SPONSORED BY: "We all beneft from a workplace that refects our communities, our customers and our business partners. That means race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and gender." — Beth Hunter, Speedway LLC

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