Women's Franchise Committee
Published March 8, 2022

Supporting Women in Franchising

There are more resources now than ever before to help women in franchising connect 

In the franchising world, there might not be a better time to be a woman. Not only do we have amazing resources to grow ourselves and our brands, but we have wonderful mentors who have paved the way to create diversity and inclusion for us. 

As we started attending in-person conferences again last year, we also started to see a new wave of faces—mine included. During breakout sessions, case-studies and panels, I always made a note: Do I see women in the back of the room staying quiet? Are there even women IN the room at all? These are questions, as a female, I always seem to ask. However, I was the most pleased when I started answering my own questions. There ARE women in the room and not just sitting in the back trying to go unnoticed. These women are standing up now, asking the tough questions, giving their opinions and pushing the needle on different views. 

Culture, Smulture panel (L to R): Brian Schnell, Faegre Drinker; Silvia Slemmer, Wild Birds Unlimited of Carlsbad, CA; Danessa Itaya, Property Management, Inc.; Nancy Bigley, The Little Gym International; Michelle Rowan, Franchise Business Review, Paul Pickett, Wild Birds Unlimited (moderator)

When I attended the IFA Convention this year in San Diego, I sat in on the session, “Culture Schmulture, Why Does It Matter? And…YES It Does!”. The room was filled to the brim with diverse and eager attendees. As I glanced up at the front of the room, I couldn’t help but smile at what the session panel looked like. Not only was FBR’s president, Michelle Rowan, one of the panelists, but she joined four others on stage. All but one were female.

Whether you’re a franchisor, supplier, franchisee or someone just trying to gather more information about franchising, the industry is changing—and women are represented and supported now more than ever. My hope is that we find more ways to get involved, challenge ourselves and one another, and create a space that everyone is proud to be a part of. 

With all the great knowledge and resources out there for us today, here are a few ideas for how you can get more involved with other amazing women leaders in our industry:

As a reminder, we have another great way to recognize franchise brands that support women! Check out FBR’s Top Franchises for Women Awards!

Photo: The Women’s Franchise Committee at the Annual Leadership Conference at the 2022 IFA Convention. The Women’s Franchise Committee is committed to providing resources for women seeking career growth opportunities in franchising.



Top Franchises for Women Award no year- purpleDon’t Miss Your Chance to Be Named a Top Franchise for Women!

Franchise Business Review’s Top Franchises for Women celebrates the brands that provide the best franchise opportunities for female entrepreneurs, based on the satisfaction of the women who own them.

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About the Author: Courtney Stillings

As the Director of Client Development, Courtney handles new business development, as well as ongoing client relations and account management within FBR. As a person who is passionate about making sure every business can succeed, Courtney loves to get creative in helping franchisors exceed their goals. Outside of work, you can find Courtney going on adventures with her Golden Retriever, Tuckerman and watching any New England sports team!
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