Think that women rule the fashion industry? Not so much, at least not on the business side. At industry titan LVMH, women make up 17% of the executive board. And that’s already more than companies beyond the fashion sector. European Commission figures state that a mere 12% of board members at the continent’s biggest companies are women, a figure that narrows to 3% at the CEO level.
LVMH indicated its commitment to promoting gender parity at the executive level by signing a voluntary pledge that women will comprise 30% of its corporate boards by 2015 and 40% by 2020, WWD reported yesterday.
Women already run eight divisions of the luxury group, including Pucci and Givenchy couture, but LVMH says that its ‘Women on the Board Pledge for Europe’ will boost that number by creating networking opportunities and briefing headhunters to put forward more female candidates.
Part of the impetus for the initiative comes from a new French law requiring all large companies to have women filling 40% of board spots by 2017. While we wish that it didn’t take quotas to get qualified candidates who happen to be women into the right spots, we applaud any measure that sets a market leader on the road to equality.