First Ever 'Women In Ecommerce' Workshop an Unrivaled Success: 86% of Women Surveyed Have Faced Gender Issues at Work

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Revealing statistics and personal experiences were shared among the almost 100 women in ecommerce attending the event sponsored by Internet Retailer and FitForCommerce. Speeches from the keynote speakers and the panelists were followed by lively roundtable discussions, exploring the opportunities and challenges.

The first ever Women In Ecommerce workshop and dinner on June 10th , sponsored by FitForCommerce and Internet Retailer, was sold out and exceeded the expectations of all who attended. Almost 100 paid attendees gathered to discuss challenges and contributions of women in ecommerce, participate in roundtables discussions, and hear keynote addresses by Bernardine Wu, CEO of FitForCommerce, and Mary Wagner, Senior Editor at Internet Retailer.

Highlights included:

  •     A pre-workshop survey showing “79% of women in ecommerce surveyed felt that work-life balance is viewed as a woman’s struggle; only 14% have NOT encountered gender issues at work, and yet 71% say there are no efforts to address diversity issues in their companies,” shared Bernardine Wu, CEO of FitForCommerce.
  •     Shirley Tan, Director of E-Commerce at American Bridal, emphasized that women should not view other women as competitors. “Women must share and mentor,” said Ms. Tan, “and build strong networks inside and outside your organization.”
  •     Asked to address her generational perspective, Esther Steinfeld, Marketing Manager at, echoed the need for networks, saying she “struggled in silence” her first year. She also expressed concern that “the number of women pursuing careers in technology is actually on the decline.”
  •     “With 85% of household expenditures made by women, women are a powerful shopping and decision-making force,” pointed out industry veteran, Susan Aplin, CEO of Bambeco. “It makes good business sense to have women on your work team.”
  •     Citing a Women’s Wear Daily study showing that only 23.8% of board seats of 17 beauty, fashion and retail companies are held by women, Andrea Gulli, VP of E-Commerce at New York & Company, said “even in an industry that is largely by women and for women, there is still significant opportunity for improvement.”

“With an over-subscribed event and 100% rating the speakers and content helpful, we were thrilled at the outcome,” said Cynthia Kounaris, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Women In Ecommerce. “We are excited to continue building on this mandate and this momentum, working with the many women who have volunteered, to take this organization forward.”

About Women In Ecommerce
Women In Ecommerce is a grassroots organization of volunteers whose mission is to provide a social, networking group sharing resources, guidance and mentoring with other women in ecommerce. To learn more or to participate, please visit


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Cynthia Kounaris
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