When Kristin Luck got into market research 20 years ago, she noticed that it was a female-dominated field. But when she started to reach the upper rungs of the career ladder, the landscape changed.
“One of the things that I realized when I was first starting out in my career, I worked almost exclusively with women,” says Luck. “And then when I got to the more senior stages in my career, I worked almost exclusively with men.” So it made her wonder, where are all the women in the industry going? The truth was that they just weren’t making it up to the executive and senior management positions. According to Luck, women make up more than 50 percent of market researchers, but there are less than 10 percent making it to C-level positions. Like any good business person, she noticed that there was a need for something: a space where female market researchers could come together and help push each other forward.
“I established WIRe back in 2007,” she explains. “It’s an organization that’s committed to advancing the voice of women in market research and helping them reach those executive positions. The idea is to help them understand that it’s not just about research, it’s about running a business, so here are some things that you need to learn and understand in order to progress in your career.”
WIRe was founded as a means of connecting and supporting women in the market research community: The nonprofit hosts in person events globally, online webinars, and mentoring sessions and brings a community—in person and online—of market research experts and newcomers together. It offers a comfortable space where female marketing researchers can come together, share a cocktail or a story, and find community support or advice. Women in senior management positions in the industry offer help to the next generation coming up at informal gatherings (men are welcome too!).
The organization is growing. Luck says that it started out very informally as a networking group in Los Angeles and now it is an award-winning mentoring program with activity on five continents, and a community of over 5,000. “In 2015 we secured our 501c3 status were able to begin receiving corporate funding (from organizations such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Kantar) so we’re growing quickly,” she says.
WIRe shares many of the same ideas and values that we do here at Evelyn & Bobbie, such as community, support, and healthy relationships. It’s no surprise that Luck has advised us for the past several years. She currently helms a consulting firm called the Luck Collective which focuses on nontraditional growth strategies. Her wealth of experience and expertise has been so valuable and we are happy to have her on our team.