women in wholesale

A lack of flexible working options was voted the biggest challenge for 52% of women, according a new report from Women in Wholesale (WiW).

The report, titled ‘Six Steps To Nurture, Grow and Advance Talent in Wholesale’, has been launched this week to provide businesses with a resource to support gender diversity.

Research conducted by Him! said that a lack of flexible working (52%), career path (43%) and respect (38%) were voted the main challenges for women working in the sector.

It revealed that women accounted for 47% of people working in wholesale, but only 11% of senior level managers and directors were women. Taking into account manufacturers operating in wholesale, this increased to 20%.

It suggested six steps to help nurture and develop talent. These included: create career paths; introduce flexible working, invest in networking and education; foster an attractive corporate culture; support mentoring and have goals.

“At our inaugural conference last year, 100% of delegates said that they’d like something actionable to take away. Today we are making that available, free of charge, together with some groundbreaking research,” said founder and organiser of WiW, Elit Rowland.

“We know what the challenges are and now with this report we have the tools to tackle them. We’d like to invite businesses to take on at least one of the Six Steps and to let us know how they get on.”

Managing director of research consultancy Him! Jill Livesey said: “Ninety-five per cent of the people we interviewed said that gender diversity leads to better business but almost a quarter (24%) said that more could be done to create a gender-inclusive culture.”