Next founder George Davies slams fashion industry’s gender divide

Goerge Davies, founder of Next, has publically called for more women to be appointed in top jobs the British fashion industry.

The veteran retailer, best known for founding Next and his reputation as the man behind Asda‘s George and Marks & Spencer‘s Per Una ranges, has said that he believes more women in senior fashion positions would boost the high street.

“If there was better representation of them (women) in executive teams, maybe the high street wouldn’t be struggling as much as it is,” Davies told BBC Radio 4.

“(Women) work quicker and harder than men. The retail industry needs people who visit stores and understand customers and that’s why I think the gender mix on executive boards should be at least equal.”

Davies’ current board at FG4, consists of 51 women and just 19 men. He added that he always “surrounded himself with women” at work.

RELATED: Next warns of price rise in 2017

Campaign group Women In Retail released results earlier this year which have shown just 20 per cent of executive teams and 10 per cent of executive baords are female. 

This contrasts sharply with the 60 per cent of the entire industry being made up of women and 85 per cent of all purchases being made or influenced by women.

Fiona Davis, director of Women In Retail, said: “Retailers are missing an opportunity to maximise their talent pool.

“They need to walk in the shoes of their customers and they’re not doing that without the right gender balance in their board rooms.”

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