Retail gender diversity “very successful” despite overall fall in female executives

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gender diversity

The retail sector has been hailed as one of the best-performing in gender diversity among the UK’s largest companies over the last year.

The Pipeline’s annual Women Count study found that the number of FTSE 350 companies with no women on an executive committee increased since 2016, with the number of all-male boards rising by eight.

Despite diversity figures falling overall, the retail sector was “very successful” across all measures, coming in the top three out of 12 every time.

One in two retailers have executive committees which are at least 25 per cent female, double the average number across the FTSE 350.

Furthermore, the percentage of female executives in retail that were given profit and loss roles was 46 per cent, coming only behind support services at 48 per cent and transport at 50 per cent.

READ MORE: In-depth: Breaking the glass ceiling in retail

It was also second in terms of female executives being on the main PLC board of the company at 29 per cent.

“This report is ringing a very loud alarm bell for business. With agendas dominated by Brexit, the focus on gender diversity at senior levels has been slipping,” Pipeline co-founder Lorna Fitzsimons said.

“Women Count shows there is an increase in profit for companies who have over 25% women on their executive committees. In this post Brexit era, can this return be ignored by other companies?”

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