STORES Magazine - July 2010 - (Page 17)

EXECUTIVE SUITE / CORPORATE LEADERSHIP Making Inroads Industry a leader in female board members, but pool remains shallow BY SUSAN REDA, EDITOR T he retail industry, the women who work in it – and the women who make up the majority of its consumers – appear to have something to celebrate. Data compiled for STORES by Equilar finds that women are well represented among retail boards of directors. Macy’s, Target, Office Depot and J.C. Penney each have four women on their respective boards; at Macy’s women comprise 40 percent of board seats. Another eight of the 51 public companies analyzed for the study have three female directors. The data – compiled from an industry subset consisting of public companies on STORES’ 2009 Top 100 Retailers list that filed proxy statements on or before May 12 – is particu- larly interesting against the backdrop of research published last December by women-in-business trackers Catalyst. It found that women held only 15.2 percent of board seats at Fortune 500 companies – roughly the same results that were reported a year earlier and up slightly from 14.8 percent in 2007. Given that women account for some 70 percent of retail purchases in traditional stores and about half of online purchases, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that retail boards include women at rates greater than those of companies in other sectors of the economy. “Having board members that reflect the diversity and inclusion of our customers and our organization is very important,” says Jim Sluzewski, senior vice president of corporate communications and external affairs for Macy’s. “Keeping in mind that a majority of our customers and associates are women, it’s important that we have women representing shareholders and guiding the business of the board.” Nearly half of the companies included in the study have boards that are least 20 percent female, compared with only four that On average, companies with three or more female directors significantly outperform the boards with the fewest women. have no women on their boards (and it should be noted that one of those companies, Blockbuster, nominated a woman for election to its board in late May). The study results don’t surprise Bobbie Lenga, who leads the global consumer sector and the U.S. retail practice for Russell Reynolds Associates. Based in Chicago, Lenga focuses on seniorlevel searches for clients in retailing, fashion, apparel, manufacturing, consumer durables and luxury goods. According to Lenga, there is a finite – albeit growing – pool of WWW.STORES.ORG STORES / JULY 2010 17 http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - July 2010

STORES Magazine
Editor's Page
President's Page
Retail People
Corporate Leadership
Top 100 Retailers
Location Apps
Food Safety
Risk Management
ARTS Update
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES Magazine - July 2010