13 July 2011

Who Run The World? Girls.

Louis Vuitton A/W '11

News has reached Grazia Daily that LVMH, the luxury group which controls major fashion labels including Louis Vuitton, Celine and Dior, is the latest corporation to sign on the dotted line and pledge their support for women in the workplace. Hurrah!

The “Women on the Board Pledge for Europe” seeks to encourage women into the upper echelons of the business world with companies pledging to reach the target of 30% female board members by 2015 and 40% by 2020, by actively recruiting qualified women to replace outgoing male board members.

European Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding, has observed that while 60% of university graduates in Europe are women, this is not a true reflection of the percentage of women sitting on boards. In fact, some of Europe’s largest companies have only 12% of women, with less than 3% having a female running the show as CEO.

LVMH are still ahead of the general curve with women running eight divisions of the group and 17% of their board, but they’re still aiming to increase this figure by creating more opportunities for women within the organisation so that they are not overlooked for promotion.

We’re all for equal opportunity for women, but it seems a shame that it takes a European directive to ensure that more of us are given positions of power in the workplace. Surely this isn’t just a gender issue, does it not make good business sense too?

‘If you exaggerate a little, you could say that if there had been a Lehman Sisters, there would have been no global economic crisis,’ says Reding. ‘If you read the studies of Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs, that is their conclusion, because women allow companies to avoid making big mistakes, because they ask more questions and expect answers.’

You can’t say fairer than that and we think even Beyonce would agree too. But what do you think?

- Jo Oliver


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