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ARA co-launches scholarship for women leaders in retail

Emerging women leaders in retail can now apply to the Australian Retailers Association’s (ARA) Women Leaders in Retail CEW Scholarship to accelerate their professional development.

The scholarship which is in its second year is offered by the ARA in partnership with Chief Executive Women (CEW) and provides an opportunity for the winner to study at Harvard Business School.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra said the scholarship is an “important part” of addressing inequality in the sector.

“Although 75 per cent of discretionary spending is made by women, only 17 per cent of our sector is led by female CEOs.

“Diversity, equality and inclusion is an important focus for the ARA and women’s career progression is a vital pillar of that work,” said Zahra.

CEW Scholarships chair, Deidre Willmott, welcomed the continuation of this partnership and described it as an “incredible opportunity” for women leaders in the industry.

“Retail is one of the largest employers of women in the country, yet women are under-represented in senior leadership roles across the industry. We want to change this.”

To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must work in the retail sector and must be from an organisation that is also an ARA member. They must hold a mid to senior executive role, have five or more years in general management and receive endorsement from senior management for the opportunity.

Last year, Wesfarmers OneDigital GM of finance, Virginia Leaf, won the Women Leaders in Retail CEW Scholarship.

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