More than 50 of the UK’s leading retailers have pledged to improve their diversity and inclusion following findings that representation of women and ethnic minorities “falls well short”.
There is “much to be done” to improve diversity and inclusion (D&I) in retail, according to a report by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), which found more than one in five retailers have no women on their boards and there are “very few” Black or ethnic minority leaders.
More than 55 retailers in the country have signed up to pledges that include appointing D&I executives, supporting career opportunities for all and creating respectful and inclusive work environments.
The BRC’s report also found that:
- 15% of retailers have no women on their executive committees while 69% of retailers have an all-male chief executive, chief financial office and chair.
- Only 9.6% of the industry’s chief executives are women and only 4.3% of the sector’s chairs are women.
- Just 4.5% of board members, 5.8% of executive committees and 6% of direct reports to boards are from an ethnic minority background compared to 12.5% of the UK population.
“Retail revolves around the customer, and to serve the needs of a diverse country we need a diversity of ideas, experiences and backgrounds across our businesses,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.
“Five years ago, the BRC set out a vision for better jobs and aspired for retail to be a diversity and inclusion leader. The data collected by PwC and (human resource consultants) The MBS Group in our diversity and inclusion in retail report shows there is so much more to be done if we are to reach this goal”, he added.