Over third of retailers have all-white boards, finds BRC report

The UK retail industry has a long way to go before the industry “truly reflects the communities it serves”, a report by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has found.

The study reveals that there is a lack of ethnic diversity in boards and executive committees and a lack of black leaders across the industry.

The research found that more than a third of retailers have all-white boards or all-white executive committees, and that woman make up less than 40 per cent of these committees.

But the trade association said that there had been some improvement in the sector.

More retailers are now prioritising making their businesses more inclusive.

According to the report, 91 per cent of retailers now have a co-ordinated Diversity and Inclusion strategy in place, compared to 76 per cent last year.

“Diverse businesses are more successful businesses,” said Helen Dickinson, chief executive, BRC. “While retailers are increasingly committed to D&I, this will take time to translate into results. Women are still underrepresented at the most senior levels, ethnic diversity urgently needs addressing, and areas such as social mobility, disability and age are still not sufficiently prioritised in strategies.

“We all know the challenges, we all want to act, so now we now need to mobilise and focus on delivery of outcomes. Retail is a brilliant industry, the 3m people who work within are brilliant people but without greater diversity, we remain far from achieving our true potential.”

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