Allison Gettings Has a Mantra to Overcome Pressure as Red Wing Shoe’s First Female CEO

Allison Gettings made history last fall when she was named the first female CEO of Red Wing Shoe Co., a heritage boot brand that primarily operates in a male-dominated work industry.

She acknowledged there is pressure being first. “It is human nature to look to others for clues on how to show up. I have had to develop an inner mantra of ‘I don’t have to be him. I can do it my way,’” Gettings said.

More from Footwear News

And her appointment could have longstanding impacts. “Simply being a female CEO offers a new perspective on our leadership team and shows our employees another approach to leadership,” she said.

Gettings brings ample experience into her new role. During her 14 years at Red Wing, she’s spearheaded the launch of its women’s Heritage line, reimagined its outdoor business as president of Vasque from 2018-2020, and most recently, as president of Red Wing, she established its first dedicated corporate social responsibility department.

Red Wing
Red Wing’s Traction Tred Lite waterproof safety-toe boot.Courtesy of Red Wing

But now, Gettings said, her No. 1 strategic priority is “people and culture” — a focus that’s especially challenging in today’s hybrid work environment.

And it has forced her to adjust her leadership style. “I’ve needed to be more intentional about listening, when to be in the office, what type of meetings are required in-person versus remote. I’ve also needed to be more intentional about when to stop working, particularly with a young family at home,” she said. “It’s a balancing act that is not easy to get right but one I feel I have an obligation to continue to refine to ensure that both our employees and my own family get the very best from me.”

This article appeared in the June 5 print issue of FN, as part of the “Women Who Rock” special section. This annual feature celebrates female leaders who are shaking up the footwear industry with vision and tenacity. And on June 7, FN and Two Ten Footwear Foundation will also honor these women at a live event in New York City, benefiting Two Ten’s WIFI scholarship.

Best of Footwear News

Sign up for FN's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.