Proportion of women at board level in wholesale rises to 20%

The number of women working at board level in the wholesale industry has increased from 11% to 20% over the past six years. However, wholesaling remains behind other industries in this regard (benchmark: 29%).

A Diversity & Inclusion Survey, commissioned by Women in Wholesale (WiW) and conducted by TWC, has investigated the progress made since the launch of the WiW initiative, which supports women working in wholesale with education, networking and coaching.

The figures were shared at the recent WiW Annual Conference, which attracted more than 250 delegates from wholesalers and suppliers.

“Diverse organisations grow faster and are more profitable,” said Tanya Pepin, managing director at TWC. “That’s why it’s so important to have this industry-specific insight which will help to get some important conversations around diversity and inclusion started in our sector.”

The study was conducted in August/September 2022 and involved 184 people (66% female, 34% male) working for retail and foodservice wholesalers. According to the research, the biggest disparities between male and female responses concerned equal opportunity, with only 57% of females agreeing that “all people can succeed in my organisation” compared with 80% of men.

Meanwhile, 60% of women agreed that they “trust my organisation to be fair to all employees” versus 80% of men. In addition, women were three times more likely to feel that they are not included in decisions that affect their work (17% versus 5%).

“This groundbreaking study shines a positive light on the progress being made in our sector – as well as helping us to identify where we can improve,” said WiW founder Elit Rowland.

The survey findings will inform the WiW 2023 education and discussion programme.

The WiW conference saw a record attendance, with numbers up by 39% compared to before Covid. Themed ‘Be the Best You’, the event featured presentations from Victoria Crouch, head of customer merchandising at Brakes; Sheila Gallagher, commercial director at Booker; Keira Campbell, sales director at Henderson Foodservice; Lisa-Jayne Hanson, category controller at Bestway; and Elaine Haynes, business manager at Costco Wholesale.

Topics included diversity & inclusion hacks, situational leadership tips, advice to manage menopause, and how to improve the workplace for returning parents. The guest speaker was behavioural persuasion and influential communication expert Lee Warren.



Published Date: September 26, 2022
Category: Wholesale Industry News