It’s no secret that the men make up the majority of executive positions. To be more specific, only 4 percent of Fortune 500 companies have female CEOs. This number is far less than acceptable, but we must make these changes ourselves and lead by example, similar to what Gatorade is doing.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there aren’t many leadership or executive positions for women in sports. In professional sports, women executives are particularly scarce, making up just 11 percent of all combined executives at the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL. Gatorade has been flying under the radar with this one, and we want to shine a light on the great strides they have made.
In 1985, Sue Wellington became Gatorade's brand manager. She blazed a trail for other female leaders and served as president from 1998 to 2002. Gatorade’s other women leaders include Cindy Alston, the brand's first Chief Marketing Officer; Sarah Robb O'Hagan, current president; Morgan Flatley, VP of marketing; and Andrea Fairchild, VP of global sports nutrition group. While the sports industry is dominated by men, Gatorade is paving the way for women and raising the profiles of female leaders and female athletes.
"Women tend to lead differently than men," Morgan Flatley said. "They bring a more inclusive and consensus-building style, which has worked really well for this brand. And women tend to bring creative problem-solving in how they approach business issues."
After being hit by the economy in 2009, the brand overhauled its image through redesigned packaging and positioned itself as a brand for sports innovation and nutrition. Turning from the previous notions of just being a sports drink, Gatorade's sales volume rose 2.4 percent in the first half of the year, according to Beverage Digest. The article also concludes that places where women lead, a better work-life balance and greater collaboration often prevails.
We are inspired by the innovation and courage Gatorade exudes when marketing to women. Let’s all do our part in leading by example and encouraging female leadership!
FletcherPR is a national communications firm that specializes in reaching women through the power of media. Headquartered in Knoxville, TN with staff in Nashville & Los Angeles, we are a full-service agency providing strategic public relations, social media and marketing communications services to our clients throughout the U.S.