Financial Times: Retailers risk losing touch with customers over diversity
Blogs 1st May 2019 2 minutes read
At Green Park, we are passionate advocates of business diversity. For over 10 years, we’ve been moving the dial on diverse leadership because we know first-hand the power of collective difference.
Diversity equals strength and it is our client’s secret weapon in increasing competitiveness and driving transformation in rapidly changing markets. That is why we are delighted to be partnering with Retail Week on their Be Inspired programme, as sponsors of their Senior Leadership Academy.
Working with clients within the retail and consumer sector to develop and deliver their talent strategies, it is our experience that almost everyone now understands the commercial and reputational gains to be made from greater workforce diversity and inclusion. Despite this, our research finds that in the upper echelons, the Retail & Consumer Sector is still lacking in both gender and ethnocultural diversity.
In 2018, Green Park’s annual Leadership 10,000 report, mapping the gender and ethnocultural diversity of FTSE 100 leadership, found that only 34% of retailers top 20 most senior positions are female and 97% are white. With this is mind, we asked how can we do more to move the dial in the sector?
It was while looking for a partner who shares our passion for diversity and inclusion that we identified Be Inspired; a programme creating waves within the Retail & Consumer sector through its exciting and innovative approach.
Green Park’s Retail & Consumer Practice have been supporters of Be Inspired since its inception and are very proud this year to take an active role in promoting the advancement of diversity in senior retail leadership. The calibre of participants in the Senior Leadership Academy inspires us and we look forward to sharing knowledge and insights throughout the year.
Retail Week launched Be Inspired in March 2016 to develop, promote and excel the careers of retail’s future female leaders. Now in its fourth year, Be Inspired offers women working in retail a unique opportunity to network, learn, find inspiration and discover how to reach their career goals.
As part of this initiative, Be Inspired launched the Senior Leadership Academy – an annual 12-month programme for a handful of talented and aspiring female senior directors in retail. Working with Retail Week, the Academy is our practical way of helping to build the pipeline of all the amazing future female CEOs out there.
Green Park is proud to sponsor the Academy and to participate in a number of events throughout the year, including hosting our very own Inclusive Leadership Event; ‘Creating open, trusting and diverse workplaces’ led by our retail and diversity team leaders.
Advocating for greater diversity in the sector, Green Park’s Chairman Trevor Phillips OBE has recently joined over 100 business leaders as a Be Inspired ambassador.
The founding Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and former President of the Partnership Council of the John Lewis Partnership, he is the latest ambassador to join alongside esteemed leaders Jacqueline Gold CBE, Chief Executive Officer of Ann Summers, Paula Nickolds, Managing Director of John Lewis and Stephen Clarke, Chief Executive of WH Smith.
We also look forward to joining Retail Week at the World Retail Conference in May, where we will be launching Green Park’s first ever retail specific leadership report, reviewing the gender and ethnocultural composition of leading retailer Boards across the UK, USA and Europe.
To find out more about our involvement with the Be Inspired programme and our upcoming workshop or reports, please email email@example.com.