// New Women Count 2020 report show retail is one of worst performing sectors for gender diversity in senior roles
// Only 24% of executive committee members in the UK’s retail sector are women
A new report has found that the retail sector is one of the worst performing sectors for gender diversity in senior roles.
The Women Count 2020 report, funded by The Pipeline, a gender diversity business, found that only 24 per cent of executive committee members in the UK’s retail sector are women, up from 17 per cent in 2019.
The Pipeline identified that if companies listed on the stock exchange with no women on their executive committees had performed with the same net profit margin as those with more than 33 per cent at this level, a further £47 billion could have been made in pre-tax profit.
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Moreover, the report found that little progress has been made over the last five years in terms of gender diversity.
FTSE 350 companies which have executive committees with female membership of more than 33 per cent have a net profit margin over 10 times greater than those companies with no women at this level.
Companies with no women on their executive committees have a net profit margin of 1.5 per cent, whereas those with more than 33 per cent women at this level reached 15.2 per cent net profit margin.
There are currently just 13 women chief executives of FTSE 350 companies.
Companies in the FTSE 350 led by women have an average 1 in 3 people being women on their executive committees, which falls to an average of 1 in 5 for companies led by men.
“Women Count 2020 report shows the stark difference in net profit margins of companies that have diverse gender leaderships compared to those who do not,” The Pipeline co-founder Lorna Fitzsimons said.
“During the most unprecedented economic challenge of our lifetime, the economy can’t afford for businesses to continually miss the opportunity to be more productive,” she said.
Businesses and governments need to actively address this as an economic imperative if we want to come out of the inevitable recession any time soon.
“We will then emerge from this crisis together, stronger, and more united than ever in a post Covid-19 world.”