Why is there a lack of women on the business side of retail?
It is a known fact, women are the backbone of retail. Women spend the most money and are the key demographic of the retail industry, so why are women so underrepresented in the business sector of retail?
Traditionally, all household items purchased went through the woman, this includes grocery shopping, home decor, and clothes shopping for the family. Society has definitely evolved since 1950, as 50% of women participate in the U.S. labor force today but women still dominate spending. Women drive 70-80% of consumer spending through their purchasing power and influence.
When you look at those numbers, then look at the number of women in executive retail positions the number is unsettling. Women can directly be associated with retailers success but somehow only make up 5.6% of CEO positions at retail companies. The percentage of board seats held by women is 19.9% better, but still low.
So what’s the deal? of course, it is not only retail, but almost every industry also suffers from a lack of women in high places. According to a survey, 43% of Americans believe that women encounter double standards as they try to gain promotions in their positions. However, a majority of Americans believe women possess the same key leadership traits as men and are better at being ethical in leadership roles. But we have yet to see a change in the numbers.
It is easy to point out the lack of women in retail leadership positions the hard part is fixing it. One suggestion we have is learning the art of strategic influence and persuasion. These skills can help women get their foot in the door for these top-ranked positions, but retailers have to address the issue also. They must match their executive team to the consumers they are trying to attract. It is imperative to have a workforce that matches your consumer demographic incredibly.