This award recognizes an organization that is a proven Standard-Setter for Opportunity, Advancement and Recognition for women within their organization. The SOAR award honors companies with demonstrable corporate initiatives that result in a strong track record of attracting, developing, retaining and promoting women to the highest levels of the organization.

2017 Recipient Red Robin Gourmet Burgers & Brews


Women’s Excellence (WE): A company-wide initiative with quarterly professional development curricula to provide opportunities, share experiences and mentor each other in a male-dominated industry.

WFF Engagement: Red Robin team members attend WFF events and, upon return, “teach back” what they’ve learned to bring the content to life. Each year, more than 40 team members attend the WFF Conference and Executive Summit, and even more employees participate in WFF’s Leadership Development Workshops.

Stakeholder & Community Engagement Opportunities enable team members to support Red Robin’s corporate philosophy and reap the benefits of giving back to their communities.

Benefits that promote work/life balance, flexibility, healthy lifestyles and professional development.

We spoke to Red Robin’s CEO, Denny Marie Post, who is known for her unconventional, motivational and highly-effective leadership. Denny challenged her employees to improve a key quality metric by the end of 2017. When they succeeded, more than doubling their rate of improvement, she got a tattoo of Red Robin’s “Billy Burger” on her arm. This is just one example of how Red Robin’s focus on fun, integrity, improvement, service and their people makes them “Better for Being Here.”

What is one piece of advice you would give to organizations with a goal of advancing women leaders?

Focus on development and encourage women throughout your organization to raise their hand for opportunities.

In your opinion, why is advancing women leaders good for business?

Women bring diversity of thinking and deep understanding of a core part of our target audience. If you don’t include women, you are limiting the talent pool, and we all need the most talented people around us to navigate the challenges ahead.

View Past Winners
  • Ecolab
  • Kraft Foods Group, Inc.
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • Darden Restaurants
  • General Mills, INC
  • Kellogg Company
  • PepsiCo Foodservice
  • Sodexo