Welcome to Around the Circle! In this episode, Ashley Chiaradio and Kristina Stidham provide an inside look into the Women in Retail Leadership Circle’s (WIRLC) 2020 Top Women in Retail resource. This is WIRLC’s 10th annual list of the leading female executives in retail, and, like in prior years, features a who’s who in the industry. To celebrate this being the 10th year of the report, we’ve added a new section: Women on the Rise! These honorees are women who are on their way to becoming tomorrow’s industry leaders and are helping to shape the futures of retail organizations.

The issue can be used as a resource to learn more about these leaders, from why they love working in retail to who their favorite leader is to the technology or trends they believe will have the biggest impact on their businesses in 2020. We hope you can leverage these women’s wisdom to help you move forward in your career.

This year we’ve highlighted more women than ever before, with a total of 26 Top Women and 10 Women on the Rise. One woman included on the list who offered great insight is Crystal Hanlon, president, Northern Division of The Home Depot, who spoke about the biggest challenge she’s overcome in her career. Hanlon explained that she had to find balance, and that throughout her career she’s realized that balance isn’t a perfect picture. She builds one calendar for both her personal and professional life, and respects them as one.

Another 2020 Top Women in Retail honoree, Marisa Sharkey, co-founder and president of Birdies, shared insights into what retail trends she believes will have the biggest impact in 2020. Sharkey believes that customers are no longer just looking for great products; rather, they really want to be a part of a strong community that resonates with them. Furthermore, Sharkey explained that consumers want to engage with brands that listen to them and give them something to rally behind, and that while social channels play a big role in that, so does in-store experiences.

For more insights from all of the amazing women honored in the 2020 Top Women in Retail list, download the resource here.

Women in Retail Leadership Circle members can access the report by logging into their account and clicking here.