The life, rise, and success of Dorothy Shaver, president of Lord & Taylor department store, and America's "first lady of retailing"
In 1945, Lord & Taylor Department Store, a $35 million company, and one of New York's premier retailers, elected Dorothy Shaver president, making her the first female elected to a large US corporation. Shaver rose through the corporate ranks as a communications executive. She was first Head of the store's Comparison Shopping Bureau in 1924, was then elected to its board of directors in 1927, became a vice president in 1931, a first vice president in 1937, and then was elected president in 1945. She served in this capacity until her sudden death in 1959. Her innovations in publicity, promotions, merchandising, and advertising brought her to the attention of management, other retailers, and industry leaders in the United States and abroad. She popularized many trends that form the basis of fashion and fashion retailing as it is known today. This study provides a biographical account of her life, documents her rise through the corporate ranks, and discusses her accomplishments. It also discusses keys to her success, important influences in her life, her leadership style, and gender effects on leadership.