Survey highlights more underrepresentation of women
Following reports earlier this week about the drastic lack of females on Welsh public sector boards, the absence of women in the country’s top retailers has also been highlighted as 85 per cent have boards made up of less than 30 per cent women.
Eleven of the UK’s top 50 retailers, including consumer giants the Arcadia Group, which owns Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge and others, as well as New Look and Matalan, have no women on their boards.
Alliance Boots (the owners of leading pharmacy brand Boots), Amazon, Shop Direct (who own Very, Littlewooods and Isme), Ikea and House of Fraser are further brands, among a list of many, who have only one female on their board.
Despite women making up the majority of these companies’ customer foundation, with female consumers reportedly spending almost double the amount on clothes as men in 2011, these retailers have secluded them from their boards.
In contrast, top retailers John Lewis and Tesco both have 30.8 per cent women on their boards and Hobbs have a female-heavy board with only one male.
Speaking to The Huffington Post, Ann Francke, chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute, emphasised the importance of having women in top jobs to bring diversity and new ideas to the table, adding that ‘businesses perform better with better balanced boardrooms.’