LP Magazine

JUL-AUG 2018

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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WOMEN OF LOSS PREVENTION A s we reported in our recent May–June edition, the Women of Loss Prevention survey offered a comprehensive look at how women view their current roles in our industry, how they feel they are perceived as industry professionals, the role they feel gender and gender bias has played in their ongoing career opportunities, and the responsibility that every LP professional has to remain accountable for their own career growth and development. The goal of the survey was to offer an objective window into the thoughts, ideas, and opinions of the women of LP regarding these key areas, open doors for additional discussion, and perhaps spark fresh thoughts and ideas on how we can best address these topics to further enhance our LP teams. Yet as important as it is to mount these critical discussions, our efforts only bear fruit if that dialogue leads to action. In this follow up to our article, we look to further digest and interpret response to the survey. As part of this process, we felt it vital to hear the voice of industry leadership, including how today's leaders reacted and responded to the results. To help us find the answers, we canvassed loss prevention leadership to garner their insights and opinions on the subject. We compiled those responses to provide both general consensus and specific views on the ways that they see the role of the women of loss prevention, some of the hurdles that we will face in the process, the skills and resources necessary to power the transference, and how that will drive the future of the industry. The Wheels of Change The recent past has provided us with a massive wave of growth, changes, and challenges across the retail industry. The way that we shop, the products we buy, and even the way that we pay for goods and services are changing in ways that we never would have imagined just a few short years ago. Yet the common assessment is that this is merely a glimpse of what lies ahead. And as the gap broadens between where we were and where we're headed, the role of loss prevention will continue to evolve as well. But how will it change—and to what extent—remains largely unanswered. As we've all learned, real growth requires much more than just the passing of time and is largely the product of open minds. Each and every one of us must reach out, discover, and accept the need for change within ourselves. The complexity of the subject should remind us that there is never one side, one opinion, or one solution. A shared responsibility and a shared accountability have brought us to where we are today. This is just as true with the way that we react and respond to each other, recognizing our commonalities and accepting our differences for the betterment of all involved. The Role of Women in the Workforce According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), women's presence in the labor force has increased dramatically since the mid-1960s, with 57 percent of women currently participating in the American workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women represented 47 percent of the total labor force in 2017. As the nation's largest private-sector employer, the retail industry supports over 42 million American jobs. Yet while there have been strides made in retail management positions, women hold only 37 percent of executive positions, and in loss prevention those numbers are significantly lower. Less than 6 percent of retail CEOs are women. The National Retail Federation's (NRF) 2018 Nation Retail Security Survey (NRSS) found women account for 25 percent of LP management positions, showing slow and steady progress when compared to 19 percent in 2008. However, NRF research further indicates that 47 percent of women in retail hold a manager title, revealing a clear disparity in LP in contrast to our other retail peers. Is this a product of education? Not according to the National Center for Education Statistics, which reveals that women earn more degrees than men, with women earning more than half of bachelor's degrees (57%), master's degrees (59%), and doctorate degrees (53%) in the United States. Women are investing in their future, helping to raise the bar for the entire industry. "In my experience with our member companies at RILA, I've seen firsthand that women can find success in loss prevention, and in fact, it's a field with an incredible path for growth," said Lisa LaBruno, Esq., Participation rate for women in the American workforce 60% 50% 40% 20% 10% 0% 30% 1966 14% 27% 34% 42% 48% 51% 52% 53% 53% 57% Source: US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 1972 1978 1984 1990 1996 2002 2008 2013 2017 50 JULY–AUGUST 2018 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM

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