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The Network of Executive Women (NEW) announced this morning that it is launching what it calls "a $5 million capital campaign to fund technology that delivers industry-specific data and insights, and training and collaboration tools to increase the representation of women in leadership positions."

The organization says that "the NEW Future Fund will create additional industry-specific insights and benchmarks on gender parity. In addition, the data provided through NEW Future Fund research will be essential to understanding performance and developing more effective ways to accelerate women in the retail, consumer goods and services industry."

Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target Corporation, and Indra K. Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Inc., have said they will co-chair the initiative.

“I’m thrilled to represent Target and join Indra as co-chair of NEW’s Future Fund,” Cornell said. “I’ve had the opportunity to work for exceptional female leaders throughout my career and am proud to surround myself with strong female leaders at Target. There’s no question we’re making progress, but we still have work to do to achieve gender parity in the industry."

Nooyi added, in a prepared statement, “We know that when we open the doors of opportunity to extraordinary women, businesses thrive. Through the powerful partners NEW is bringing together, we have the chance to drive meaningful change across our industry, harnessing the talents of the best and brightest, women and men alike."

And Joan Toth, NEW's president/CEO, said, “Our future as an industry depends on more women in leadership roles ... I’m convinced that working together, powered by the NEW Future Fund, we can achieve 50/50 gender parity in our leadership.”

Full disclosure: NEW is a longtime and valued MNB sponsor.
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