The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is pleased to celebrate International Women’s Day today. As the peak retail industry body, the ARA are proud of the achievements made by female leaders who have contributed immensely to the success of the $320 billion-dollar retail sector.
Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA said International Women’s Day marks the perfect day to recognise the various roles women play in the retail industry, from the employees, managers, executives and business owners, as each individual works hard to retain the vitality of the industry.
“International Women’s Day is a globally recognised event that highlights the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, with a high importance on promoting gender parity,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“As the retail industry is comprised of a diverse range of strong female leaders who work tirelessly to ensure the longevity of the retail industry, it is important to appreciate and acknowledge the hard work that goes into maintaining the vibrancy of the industry.”
Despite this, according to data from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, while there has been notable progress within the corporate sector, with the number of new female appointments to the ASX 200 boards growing to 45.4% in 2018, the gender pay gap remains an ongoing issue. The retail industry is not immune, as the average full-time weekly wage for women in retail is still 15.1% less than men.
“While it is encouraging to see that the proportion of women in leadership roles in on the increase, there is still a long way to go before the industry reaches full gender equality,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“As the retail industry is comprised of 57.7% of women, the ARA understands the significance of empowering and supporting women to attain a greater share of leadership roles in the industry and will continue to work with relevant stakeholders to minimise this gap.”
While the industry yet to achieve true gender equality, the ARA are proud to support women within the industry through our Women in Retail Series, which highlights the extraordinary achievements of female retail leaders who have shaped the industry, and shares the stories behind their successes.
“Our Women in Retail Series has been created to inspire the future female leaders in retail. As retail is the largest private sector employing almost 1.3 million people across Australia, the number of women entering the workforce will only continue to increase,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“We want to ensure that the leaders of tomorrow are empowered to consider a job in retail as a prosperous and fulfilling career. Therefore, the ARA is dedicated to supporting and advocating on behalf of women in retail to ensure that industry achieves gender parity in the future.”