Karen Hubbard’s departure from Card Factory leaves no women at the top of any FTSE retailer.
Hubbard claimed the status as the only female boss after a considerable drop in the number of women at the top of FTSE firms.
This is despite around 60 per cent of the retail workforce are women while approximately 80 per cent of purchasing decisions are made by females.
Last autumn the chief of B&Q owner Kingfisher, Veronique Laury, left the firm and was succeeded by Thierry Garnier.
And just five per cent of the FTSE 100 chiefs are women: GlaxoSmithKline’s Emma Walmsley, Liv Garfield at Severen Trent and Carolyn McCall at ITV. Whitbread’s Alison Brittain and RBS boss Alison Rose join the small group of women at the top of the FTSE firms.
In February a government-backed review wrote to 63 firms asking them how they planned to improve gender balance. The Hampton-Alexander review is aiming for a third of board-level and leadership positions at top firms to be filled by women by the end of the year.
The Investment Association has also issued a so-called red-top on Domino’s Pizza, representing the strongest warning from the body because of it failure to appoint women to its board.
Anne Cairns, global chair of the 30% Club told City A.M.: “This is less about Karen stepping down and more about the dearth of women at the top in an industry where over 80 per cent of day to day buying decisions are made by women.”
“In this age of Stakeholder Capitalism, the time has come for companies to really represent their client base. In the case of retail that would suggest many more women at the top,” Cairns added.