Progressive Grocer Reveals Record-Setting 2021 Class of Top Women in Grocery

  • Trailblazer winners and Hall of Fame inductees named, new target set for female C-suite leadership.

CHICAGO--()--Food retailing changed in profound ways throughout the pandemic, especially in the areas of gender diversity and heightened expectations of business.

These trends are evident in Progressive Grocer’s Top Women in Grocery program (TWIG), the food and consumables industry’s most prestigious female recognition and leadership development program. Now in its 15th year, TWIG drew considerably more than 1,000 nominations from an expanded universe of essential companies eager to recognize the achievements of their female leaders during a time of extreme business and societal and personal challenges.

“Unprecedented times called for unprecedented leadership, and that is what we saw across the board from this year’s TWIG entrants and winners,” said Gina Acosta, Progressive Grocer executive editor. “So many women did such exceptional work and positively impacted their communities in so many ways that it was a very uplifting experience for me and other judges to review the entries.”

TWIG program highlights include:

  • 437 women were named TWIG honorees in three categories: Senior-Level Executives (91), Rising Stars (268), Store Managers (78).
  • Special Trailblazer Awards were given to Shipt CEO Kelly Caruso and Clorox CEO Linda Rendle.
  • Hall of Fame inductees were Crystal Rossel, of Advantage Solutions/Advantage Sales, and Barbara Walker, of The Save Mart Cos.

Entries in the TWIG program were evaluated by an all-female panel of 12 judges with deep industry knowledge and combined food and consumables experience of more than 250 years.

“We take pride in our rigorous approach to evaluating entries, which has remained consistent over time, as has the passion our judges bring to the process,” said Bridget Goldschmidt, Progressive Grocer, managing editor. “As someone involved with TWIG since its inception, I was gratified to see growth in both the quantity and quality of entries.”

A notable highpoint this year was the volume of senior executive TWIG winners. With a talent pipeline filled with qualified leaders, Progressive Grocer forecasts that within a decade, female CEOs will lead 25% of the companies in the PG 100, up from 8% currently.

TWIG winners are celebrated in the June 2021 issue of Progressive Grocer and online at They will also be honored at the annual TWIG gala and Leadership Development Program on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, as part of Grocery Industry Week (Nov. 1-4) at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, in Orlando, Fla.

Contact: To discuss TWIG or female leadership in food retailing contact Gina Acosta at

About Progressive Grocer: Progressive Grocer has served the needs of the food and consumables industry for nearly 100 years guided by a philosophy of “ahead of what’s next.” Progressive Grocer educates, inspires and connects the industry through an award-winning monthly magazine and website, e-newsletters, custom media, exclusive research and virtual and live events. Progressive Grocer is part of the EnsembleIQ family of brands.


Gina Acosta

Release Summary

Trailblazer winners and Hall of Fame inductees named, new target set for female C-suite leadership in Progressive Grocer’s Top Women in Grocery


Gina Acosta