To kick off the second week of FN’s month-long series on powerful women, we spotlight Francine Klein, Bloomingdale’s vice chair for outlets, omnichannel technology, center core, fine jewelry and cosmetics.
The executive, who encouraged female leaders to “stand up for what they believe in,” said it’s important to stay true to your vision.
“I encourage all women in the industry to stand up for what they believe in and don’t be swayed by popular opinion,” Klein said. “It’s not easy to go against the grain but risks come with the territory and can have big payoffs.”
Here, Klein talks about adapting to a fast-changing industry and how she encourages women to reach higher.
On keeping up with the consumer:
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“One great thing about the footwear industry is that there are so many strong female leaders. The bigger challenge is meeting the demands of our ever-changing customer. The modern shopper is continually changing how she shops, when she shops and what she’s looking for — it’s up to us to keep her informed and inspired. Incorporating innovative technology, mining for emerging brands and enhancing the shopping experience are vital elements in today’s retail landscape.”
On advice for emerging leaders:
“The best piece of advice I can offer is to find something you’re passionate about then find a great company and get your foot in the door. It matters less what position you start with and more what you do with the opportunity. Do whatever assignment you’re tasked with and learn as much as you can about all facets of the business.”
On her biggest mentor:
“I’ve been very blessed to have had many mentors throughout my life starting with my mother. She instilled in me a strong desire to be an independent woman, something I strove for beginning at an early age.”
On encouraging women to reach higher:
“Women have made great progress but we need to continue to challenge ourselves and not limit our goals. We hold a responsibility to mentor those entering the industry and remain committed to developing today’s talent.”