Women Take the Lead in the Luxury Goods Market


It is evident that gender inequality still exists in today’s society, and especially in the corporate world.  However, there have been slight changes visible in the workforce in comparison to a decade ago, and now is a good time for women to lean in and express their talents and ambitions. An example of an industry that involves successful female leaders is the Luxury Consumer Goods Market. Luxury Daily has listed the top 25 executive leaders in its inaugural Luxury Women to Watch 2013 list. All of these women share the same qualities such as dedication to craft, consumer focus, ambition, leadership potential, educator and role model.  These qualities are all great ingredients to create ambitious women in business to take on leadership roles. “It sounds so simple, but it takes a lot of courage and conviction to focus the organization on fewer opportunities so you can really do them well,” states Denise Incandela, Chief Marketing officer of Saks Fifth Avenue, New York. Executives who made the list represent companies such as Oscar de la Renta, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, Fairmont Hotels and Retail, and L’Oreal. To these ladies, luxury is not a job but a passion. “This is a field full of strong and powerful women,” said Cannon Hodge, social media manager for Bergdorf Goodman, New York.

The work these women do is not easy; often it can be a challenge maintaining the luxury brand’s mystique while adapting to evolving market behavior. Erika Bearman, Senior Vice President of global communications at Oscar de la Renta, believes that social media is a great tool that will attract more women to the luxury business. The luxury market is definitely evolving and improving. Pam Danziger, President of Unity Marketing, states what she likes most about her job is that it is never boring. But women need to be prepared to take on jobs with more decision-making authorities, so they need solid educational foundation as well as strong work experience.

Bergdorf Goodman’s social media manager, Cannon Hodge, quotes “this is a field full of strong and powerful women.”  Ms. Hodge’s job involves connecting her company’s legacy with the world. Challenges such as balance can be something that Ms. Hodge comes across, but she states that it is the fast-pace that keeps her on her toes.

One of my most inspirational women in business who has had great success in the luxury consumer goods market is Tory Burch. In a recent interview she states “women should be just as ambitious as men and should be proud of it.”  I believe this is a very important and strong statement and many females who would like to lead in the industry should live by this quote. It is very interesting to see how the luxury industry will grow within the upcoming years, and it is a magnificent industry to have a look out for powerful and ambitious female leaders.

Setareh Rahimian

McMaster University, Canada

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