During these tough economic times, many companies are trying to strike the ever-evasive balance of investing in talent development while minimizing the financial impact on the bottom line.

This March, the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) is helping to tip the economic scales in the favor of businesses within the foodservice industry. For several days, more than 2,000 professionals will gather for WFF’s Annual Leadership Development Conference at The Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center for an important cause: elevating women leaders.

“This year, our series of educational development sessions will arm with practical skills and the necessary insights to keep the momentum of their business going, and in doing so, help steady the course of our industry,” says Linda Pharr, chair for WFF.

Consider that companies that hire a gender diverse workforce realize a 35 percent higher return on investment, which could have broad financial implications.

“Given the positive financial impact women bring to the company’s for which they work, attending this year’s conference has particular relevance,” says Laura Liswood, WFF presenter. Liswood serves as secretary general for the Council of Women World Leaders and is also a senior advisor for Goldman Sachs.

While the educational development session led by Liswood will concentrate on factors that influence business growth, such as doing business internationally and cross-culture issues, the conference’s agenda is geared for professionals at all levels.

For more information on the 2009 Annual Leadership Development Conference, visit www.womensfoodserviceforum.com.