In 2012, I appeared on the Undercover Boss television show and had the opportunity to work alongside a female service professional who symbolized the huge untapped pool of talent that existed for our franchise owners’ current and future workforce needs. What I experienced on the front lines across our service brands in front of millions of TV viewers forever changed my perspective about the opportunities that exist for women in the service trades. The opportunities are endless.
Research and statistics confirm that women have been steadily rising in the ranks of franchise operators over the past couple of decades. In the 40 economies participating in the sweeping Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey in both 2011 and 2016, women’s entrepreneurship rates rose by 13 percent on average, while male rates increased by five percent. This is music to my ears.
As women, we sometimes forget how much skill we truly have when it comes to creating our own successful journeys in business and in life. Yet, it doesn’t have to be that way if we are mindful of all that is possible and believe in our own talent and tenacity to make our dreams come true. Shortly after my experience on Undercover Boss, I worked with my colleagues at the Dwyer Group to launch the Women In The Trades (WITT) program to support and encourage more women in a variety of careers across the service trades.
Five years later, the WITT initiative is one of the most recognizable efforts to educate and promote the hiring of women for traditionally male-dominated roles. My goal is to expand this program every year, award more scholarships to women who are drawn to the service trades, and communicate to women across the country and around the world about the incredible career paths that exist for them not only at Dwyer Group, but also in the industry at-large.
I encourage others in the franchising business to look at the HR pool on a broader level too and find ways to break down the barriers for women. Women are a force to be reckoned with in the franchising industry, and I applaud the companies who are recognizing this potential.
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