69% of UK’s retail board members white & male, new research finds

176
boardroom
// Over two-thirds of main board and executive committee members are white and male across the UK, US & Europe
// Kingfisher CEO Veronique Laury is currently the only female CEO of a leader UK retailer
// Only 1% of executive committee members at the UK’s top 10 retailers are black & ethnic minority

New research has found that retail boardrooms consist mostly of white males and executives should start diversifying their businesses.

Over two-thirds of main board and executive committee members are white and male across the UK, US and Europe, according to a study of over 30 leading retailers and almost 700 roles conducted by recruitment group Green Park, law firm DLA Piper and the World Retail Congress.

Kingfisher chief executive Veronique Laury – who is due to step down later this year – is currently the only female chief executive of a leader UK retailer.

Other leading women include Next finance director Amanda James, Marks and Spencer head of clothing & home Jill McDonald and John Lewis managing director Paula Nickolds.

Meanwhile, the research also found that boardrooms were slightly more diverse than executive committees.

In the UK, 69 per cent of main board members and 78 per cent of executive committee members were male.

DLA Piper joint managing director for UK & Europe, Sandra Wallace said that efforts to improve ethnic and gender balance “must be woven into an organisation’s culture if they are to address this lack of diversity”.

Furthermore, BRC launched a scheme in 2017 which was aimed at helping retail employees progress into managerial roles without losing the right to work flexibly or part time.

“In some cases there is a trade-off which may hold some people back from fulfilling their potential or optimising their pay,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said following the launch.

Moreover, the research found that only one per cent of executive committee members at the UK’s top 10 retailers were in the black and ethnic minority category.

Click here to sign up to Retail Gazette‘s free daily email newsletter