PVH Corp.’s Emanuel Chirico is the latest executive to sign onto an effort to bring more diversity into the corporate business world still dominated by white men.
The chief executive officer is now a part of the group CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, which launched in 2011 and is focused on positioning diversity in business operations as a “competitive issue” and not merely a social one. It’s since gotten more than 400 ceo’s and presidents to sign on and commit, in one way or another, to getting more women and minorities onto their boards and in their executive ranks.
While PVH has been making strides in diversity since 2016, with more than a third of its board now made up of women and 47 percent of senior corporate positions now held by women, Chirico said PVH is aiming to create “an inclusive environment where every individual is valued.”
“Fostering an inclusive workplace is not only the right thing to do, it also makes business sense,” he added.
Of PVH’s addition to CEO Action, Tim Ryan, the group’s ceo and a senior partner at PwC, said it “expands our reach and brings in unique values, actions and perspectives to continue to raise the bar for the entire business community.”
PVH, which operates brands including Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, joins a number of other apparel and retail companies as part of CEO Action. Ceo’s who are already part of the group include Art Peck of Gap Inc., Marvin Ellison of J.C. Penney, Chip Bergh of Levi Strauss & Co., Jeff Gennette of Macy’s Inc., Mike George of QVC, Patrice Louvet of Ralph Lauren Corp., Brian Cornell of Target Corp., Kevin Plank of Under Armour, Steve Rendell of VF Corp. and Doug McMillon of Walmart Inc.
The majority of public companies, including those in fashion and retail which are predominantly geared toward female consumers, are run by men, but some companies are starting to tap more women to fill high-level executive roles.
Walmart earlier this year named Judith McKenna as its new president and ceo of international, making her only the second woman ceo in Walmart’s history. Last year, Signet Jewelers made Virginia Drosos its ceo after numerous claims of sexual harassment against company executives became public. Drosos is the jewelry chain’s first female executive.
Other women in ceo positions at public companies include Mary Dillon of Ulta Beauty and Barbara Rentler of Ross Stores, as well as Fran Horowitz of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and Jan Singer of Victoria’s Secret, both of whom, like Drosos, came to their positions when their companies were struggling. Women being put in positions of power during a crisis is a phenomenon known as the “glass cliff” — so called because the chance of failure when brought on to effect a turnaround is high.
Even with seemingly more women being brought on to fill executive roles once taken by men, the S&P 500, a ranking of the largest companies by market capitalization trading in the U.S., shows only 5.2 percent of them have female ceo’s, according to a recent survey by Catalyst, a nonprofit research firm focused on women in the workplace.
In its Women in the Workplace study last year, business adviser McKinsey & Co. in partnership with LeanIn.org found that only 20 percent of c-suite positions at 222 companies are held by women.
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