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Business // Roundtable
MidWeek Staff

Taking The Lead For Women

By Philana Bouvier
Executive Vice President, General Manager of Young’s Market Company Hawaii

It’s about making a difference! We want to be the best. We want to create something special. Early in my career, while working my way up the corporate ladder, I realized women could make a difference in this highly competitive industry.

Fourteen years later, that is exactly what I am doing as the only female executive vice president, general manager leading a major wine and spirits distributor, Young’s Market Company Hawaii.

Young’s Market has been in existence for 125 years. Women first got the right to vote Aug. 26, 1920. Today, women are leaders in a variety of industries: government, arts and entertainment, technology, beverage, and the wine and spirits industry.

Here at Young’s Market Company in Hawaii, women are leading our organization and making a difference every day. It is a reflection of how far women have come, but perhaps more importantly, how we deliver results. Do I compare myself to men? Of course I do, every day. But it is a healthy comparison, because I know my industry is competitive. I’m not comparing woman to man, I am comparing leader to leader, and that is truly the reflection of how far we have come.

Women must embrace our roles and not only take advantage of the opportunities to develop and mentor other women in their careers, we also must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our competition.

As I reflect on my career, what I am most proud of is that I started at the bottom. I learned the business. I worked hard – harder than the rest. I devoted myself to learning the business, and then was recognized not for being a woman, but recognized as the best executive for the role.

Young’s Market Company values and recognizes female leadership. That’s what really makes the difference.

I have so much pride in my team, and I’m honored to work alongside four amazing female leaders (see photo). It is rewarding for me to reflect on how far we have come.

Our team is confident the next 125 years will continue to be a success.

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