Good morning Inner Circle readers!

Did any of you see the Advertising Age article this week about how CES, the massive tech trade show held in Las Vegas every January, doesn’t have one woman for any of the six keynote sessions listed on its 2018 agenda? If not, I would check it out. It’s a good read.

The article went on to discuss how GenderAvenger, a group dedicated to ensuring “women are represented in the public dialogue,” has taken notice of the lack of women keynoters and issued an “action alert” on Nov. 29 to call on CES to do something about it.

CES responded via a tweet on Nov. 30  that it has a record of diverse speakers and that participation of “strong women business leaders” extends “beyond the keynote stage” to its other conference sessions as well as the show floor. The statement added that 10 women declined keynote speaker invitations and that CES will be releasing “more exciting announcements” about its lineup.

The response from CES may have been a little too little too late. According to Advertising Age, the the marketing community has kept the message alive with many well-known marketers chiming in via Twitter over the past week, taking the side of GenderAvenger. Those marketers include HP’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Antonio Lucio, Twitter CMO Leslie Berland, and JP Morgan Chase CMO Kristin Lemkau, who tweeted a list of 22 names of “amazing women innovators in tech and media who would slay any keynote anywhere” that took her “less time than it took to drink coffee.”

(By the way, our friend and Women in Retail Leadership Circle speaker Shelley Zalis, CEO of the Female Quotient and founder of The Girls’ Lounge, was one of the women on Lemkau’s list. And thank goodness for Shelley: She will have a Girls’ Lounge at CES, where women attendees can connect, collaborate and activate change together. If you’re going to CES, please stop by the lounge and tell Shelley we sent you!)

The Women in Retail Leadership Circle has no problem with a lack of women speakers, however. As  you know, ALL of our speakers — keynote and otherwise — are strong, successful women in retail who are excited to speak at our Summit and share their wisdom and business secrets to attendees. Here’s a sampling of speakers signed on so far:

  • Paula Bennett, CEO, J.Jill
  • Claudia Cividino, CEO, Bally Americas
  • Fran Horowitz, CEO, Abercrombie & Fitch
  • Katia Beauchamp, Co-Founder and CEO, Birchbox
  • Kara Goldin, Founder and CEO, hint inc.
  • Sheryl Clark, President, Boston Proper
  • Stacey Renfro, Senior Vice President, E-Commerce, Pier 1 Imports
  • Katherine Bahamonde Monasebian, Head of Marketing, ALEX AND ANI
  • Kristen D’Arcy, Head of Performance Digital Marketing, American Eagle Outfitters
  • Nina Alexander-Hurst, Vice President, Brand Marketing, BaubleBar
  • Cassie Heppner, Director of Global Marketing, Timberland PRO

To hear all of these fantastic speakers – and more are signing on every day – make sure to register for the Summit here. Remember, your registration includes two nights at The Ritz-Carlton | Key Biscayne, Miami! I hope to see you all there!


Melissa Campanelli
Women in Retail Leadership Circle