A piece in today’s Times:
Not a single FTSE retailer has a female chief executive and there is only one chairwoman, according to a report.
Since the departures of Karen Hubbard at Card Factory and Véronique Laury at Kingfisher, large London-listed retailers have been run almost exclusively by men, despite this being a sector where most of the workforce is female and where 80 per cent of purchasing decisions are made by women.
Elaine O’Donnell, 50, who was made non-executive [J4MB emphasis] chairwoman of Games Workshop, the £3.5 billion seller of miniature gaming figurines, is the sole chairwoman of a large listed company.
Ted Baker is run by Rachel Osborne, but its decline in value to £286 million means that it is no longer included in FTSE indices. Carol Kane, the co-founder of Boohoo, stepped back from her co-chief executive role in 2019 when John Lyttle was hired.
Sosandar, an online fashion site that targets women over the age of 35, is run by Alison Hall and Julie Lavington, its co-founders who are joint chief executives, but the £46 million company is on Aim, the junior stock market.
In the wider consumer market, which includes companies such as Whitbread, Reckitt Benckiser and Cineworld, there are seven female chief executives out of 144 bosses, and only eleven are from an ethnic minority background, according to a report by the Korn Ferry consultancy. There are only four chairmen from ethnic minority backgrounds and only nine chairwomen out of 144 consumer-facing companies.
This means that 90 per cent of consumer companies boards are run by white men. [J4MB: White men? Oh, the horror!!! What have white men ever done for us?] Out of 1,103 board directors across the Aim, FTSE 250 and FTSE 100 consumer stocks, there are only 83 directors from ethnic minorities. All FTSE consumer companies have at least one director from an ethnic minority background.
“The key to increasing female and ethnic representation … is to recognise the issue and move it up the priority list on the board agenda. The lack of diversity in these positions must be actively addressed in both succession planning and longer-term talent pipelining at all levels,” Sarah Lim, a managing director at Korn Ferry, said.
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