The Colour of Power
Report Insights 5th June 2019 2 minutes read
A review of the diversity composition of leading retail Boards across the UK, US and mainland Europe, The Retail Leadership 700 suggests that if retailers fail to address their diversity deficit, they risk suffering a downturn in productivity and profit.
Authored by Green Park and global law firm DLA Piper and launched in association with the World Retail Congress, The Retail Leadership 700, reveals:
Our analysis shows that in all three of the global jurisdictions we studied - Europe, the US and the UK - leadership is nowhere near as diverse as it could be, with consequent risks for reputation and delivery.
As the retail consumer landscape evolves, diverse communities represent a larger and more important part of total buying power. There is huge competition for customers and market share, which means the leadership teams that set direction and strategy for retail brands need to understand the widest possible patterns of buying behaviours and motivations.
A changing consumer and retail environment combined with greater regulation and activism in matters of social and political importance proves there is a strong business, moral and regulatory case for greater diversity at senior leadership. There is also a body of literature and commentary relating to the benefits of diversity. For example, a recent study published in the Harvard Business Review, which looked at product innovation and revenues in 1700 companies across the world, found ‘a statistically significant relationship between diversity and innovation outcomes in all countries examined’.
Studies like these and McKinsey’s influential ‘Why Diversity Matters’ and ‘Delivering Through Diversity’ have helped to fuel shareholder activism. As we have written before shareholders and fund managers impatient for organisations to reap the diversity dividend are calling for change and voting with their feet when companies fail to act.
In order to understand how the biggest retailers have responded to these cultural and business imperatives, Green Park, DLA Piper and the World Retail Congress have come together to analyse the gender and ethnocultural composition of the world’s leading retailers’ Main Boards and Executive Committees