After launching in October this year, the organisation created by global nutraceutical leaders, made itself known across the pond with a breakfast reception at the industry trade show.
The organisation's founders spoke to NutraIngredients-Europe about the response to the initiative so far and its plans to help women across the globe.
“The response so far and the sponsorship has been tremendous!" said Jan Mills, WIN Vice President and CEO at Artemis International, Inc.
"Some of the issues women are facing in Europe are different to in the US and the cultures of companies vary depending on the country they are in but ultimately the aims of this initiative have really resonated across the globe,” said Mills, adding that there’s “so many dynamic women in the industry here” in Europe.
Whilst the initiative is about empowering women, WIN's Secretary Lynda Doyle (President & CEO, Avant Nutrition, LLC) was keen to point out “this isn’t a women’s organisation”.
“We have to be inclusive across the board in order to truly make an impact on the industry,” she added.
One large aim of the initiative is to support women to attain c-suite positions (eg. CEO, CIO, CFO, etc) within the industry.
“It’s all about bringing women to power," explained Mills. "There’s so much research to show that diversity brings better versatility, and better profitability to businesses, and our goal is to help elevate women into the higher level positions in the industry to create that diversity at the decision making level.”
Another key aim of the initiative is to build the portfolio of research in women specifically.
High on their agenda, also, is to build metrics on the number of women within the industry and the number of women within c-suite positions. They have commissioned Informa to gather this data ready for them to reveal in the first quarter of next year – with a full presentation planned to take place at Vitafoods Europe. They then plan to gather this data annually in order to measure their impact.
Mills added: “We know many women are going through the food science programmes but there seems to be a lack of them at the top and we're not certain why that is.”
She also argues that investors forums are “totally male dominated” making investment more challenging for women in this industry as well.
The organisation plans to provide support with committees concentrating on specific areas of concern including: research, mentorship, investment and finance.
The team also plans to create a ‘speakers board’, making it easier for those looking for experts on a specific subject to find female speakers. This will help to increase the visibility of women within this industry.
At a cost of $100 per year, membership can be attained via the WIN website.
WIN’s founding members represent organizations from around the globe, including the United States, Europe, Asia and Australasia.
- Chairperson: Karen E. Todd, Vice President Global Brand Marketing, Kyowa Hakko
- President: Heather Granato, VP, Partnerships & Sustainability, Food EMEA at Informa Markets
- Vice President: Jan Mills, CEO, Artemis International, Inc.
- Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer: Doug Reader, CEO, Arizona Nutritional Supplements
- Secretary: Lynda Doyle, President & CEO, Avant Nutrition, LLC.
Directors at Large
- Karen Howard, CEO & Executive Director, Organic and Natural Health Association
- Julia Wiebe, Managing Director, red otc - a Finzelberg company
WIN founding supporters include Alkemist Labs, Amin Talati Wasserman, Arizona Nutritional Supplements, Artemis International, Avant Nutrition LLC, Cepham Inc, Council for Responsible Nutrition, Cypress Systems, DCC Health & Beauty Solutions USA, Industry Transparency Center, Informa, Kemin, Know Agency, Kyowa Hakko, MAYPRO Group, Nutrify Today, Nutrition Capital Network, Organic & Natural Health Association, and The 6AM Agency. Founding media partners include Nutraceuticals World, NutraIngredients-USA, Nutritional Outlook, SupplySide/New Hope/Vitafoods, and Whole Foods Magazine.