Women: Taking the Lead: IFA committee focuses on the importance of women in leadership positions at franchises.

Author:Faunce, Marisa

Women own approximately one-third of franchised businesses, and a growing percentage of franchised businesses have female leadership in place. As these numbers grow and as more women become involved in various roles within the franchise industry, it is imperative that women have a place to network, share ideas and mentor others. The mission of IFA's Women's Franchise Committee, which was formed in 1996, is to "empower leaders in franchising by promoting women's participation in the industry and providing international networking opportunities for the exchange of ideas, resources, and experiences." We do this in three primary ways:


    The WFC hosts a five-hour Leadership Conference every year at the IFA Convention. The Leadership Conference consistently achieves the top ratings of any program at the convention as our attendees highly value the key takeaways that they glean from the program.

    With top leaders in franchising serving as keynote and panel speakers, we are confident that our attendees will learn valuable lessons that they can implement in their own businesses.

    We have had great success in attracting speakers who are willing to share their experiences--the highs and the lows--so that attendees can learn from their triumphs as well as their mistakes.

    One highlight of the Leadership Conference is the case study, where roundtable groups investigate challenging issues faced by a mystery franchisor and devise strategies that the franchisor could take to rectify the situation. When the franchisor is revealed, attendees hear from one of its leaders to learn how they navigated the challenge. Working in teams on the case study also provides a key networking opportunity.

    It is important to note that the Leadership Conference is not just

    for women, it's for anyone looking to become a stronger leader. We are busy working on the program for the 2019 Leadership Conference, and recommend registering early since space in the program is limited and typically sells out.


    Our annual Leadership Conference messages are reinforced throughout the year at the local level through Women's Franchise Network meetings. There are currently 18 chapters throughout the country where inspiring female franchise leaders coordinate, bringing wisdom and leadership to franchisees, franchisors and suppliers year-round. It's also a great way to visit other franchise locations, as WFN meetings are often hosted at a...

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