The economy is struggling, unemployment rates are soaring, and retail sales are down nationwide. People are feeling the impact in their paychecks and their...

Liz Haesler
Vice President Home Life & Trend

Mary Stoddart
Vice President & General Manager, Territory 6

Best Buy

The economy is struggling, unemployment rates are soaring, and retail sales are down nationwide. People are feeling the impact in their paychecks and their pocketbooks. At Best Buy, we’re putting resources behind the women who work and shop at our stores—because we believe that women have a powerful role to play in changing the direction of our economy.

Women are the guardians of the family checkbook. They are often the ones making the decisions about where to invest household finances. Yet, you don’t have to look hard to see media coverage or hear stories of how women are being impacted by the economic downturn, and are in dire need of professional development and growth opportunities.

Creating a space for women—employees and consumers—is not a recent program here. Best Buy is dedicated to changing the way women perceive technology, and helping them do that through education and support. It’s also about changing the way we relate to one another, and becoming better leaders through helping others succeed.
[sws_pullquote_right]”We know if we want to be a great place for women to shop, we have to be a great place for women to work. Our economic future depends on it.”[/sws_pullquote_right]
One example of how we’re doing this is through our WoLF at Best Buy network. Short for Women’s Leadership Forum, WoLF at Best Buy was formed in 2004 to give a voice to the unheard, to develop leaders through networking, to give back to the community and to drive real business results through employee commitment. It is a network of thousands of employees, consumers and volunteers who work with individuals, brands, partners, stores and communities to help Best Buy build strong women leaders and capture a greater share of the female consumer electronics market.

There are many different ways for both men and women to participate. To date, more than 10 percent of our worldwide staff is involved with the program, including nearly 300 teams working to create opportunities for women around the world. There are quarterly volunteer events, network partners who also reach women around the country, and an annual conference that draws partners from across the globe to discuss ways to engage and mentor female employees.

But our efforts don’t stop with our employees. Over the past two years, WoLF at Best Buy has also connected with more than 3,000 female customers as Omega Wolves, in U.S. and U.K. cities, to help us find better ways to meet the needs of other female consumers. And within our famous geek squad, DIVAS (Dynamic Intelligent Vivacious Agents with Solutions) are bringing a woman’s perspective to helping customers with technology services.

We’re in the stores, on the streets, in Facebook and Twitter, and in our communities. WoLF at Best Buy is a network that benefits every employee in every sector, reporting directly to our CEO in collaboration across the organization.

We know if we want to be a great place for women to shop, we have to be a great place for women to work. Our economic future depends on it.

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