Dubai retail summit to probe industry's gender imbalances

Retail Summit will explore why women dominate the sales process and outnumber men in the workforce, but remain absent from many boardrooms
Dubai retail summit to probe industry's gender imbalances
Beauty powerhouse Huda Kattan will appear at the Retail Summit.
By Sam Bridge
Sat 02 Feb 2019 02:06 AM

The gender imbalance in the retail industry will be explored at a major summit to be held in Dubai next month.

The Retail Summit will probe the issue which sees women dominate the sales process and outnumber men in the workforce, but remain absent from many boardrooms.

Getting the gender balance right is a hot topic for retail brands facing new challenges to grab the attention, and retain the loyalty, of today’s tech-savvy generation of shoppers, organisers of the summit say.

A recent report showed that 60 percent of retail industry employees are female, while women make or influence 85 percent of purchases yer only 10 percent of executive board members are female, said Gary Thatcher, CEO and co-founder of The Retail Summit.

"This begs the question: can most retailers honestly expect to thrive when their leadership lacks a truly intuitive understanding of its core customer,” he said.

The Retail Summit brings together more than 60 industry experts and 600 international retailers at Atlantis, The Palm on February 13-14.

In one of the key panel discussions on Gender Diversity In Retail: Breaking The Glass Ceiling, Alia Khan, chairwoman, Islamic Fashion & Design Council, shares the stage with Julie Hamilton, Coca Cola’s SVP, chief customer & commercial leadership officer and Suzie Wokabie, founder, Suziebeauty.

“One of our main objectives in launching this event is to create a diverse community for the retail sector that supports conversations to foster gender diversity, promote flexible working practices and nurture female talent,” said Thatcher.

Held in partnership with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Meydan One, The Retail Summit will reinforce that theme with an evening reception bringing together industry leaders focused on championing women in retail.

In a further show of force for women in retail, beauty powerhouse Huda Kattan and sister Mona, the brains behind the hugely successful Huda Beauty brand, come under the spotlight in another panel session themed Social Media: Make Impact, Not Noise.

They join forces with Massimo Piombini, CEO of French fashion house Balmain to reveal how to create internet ‘buzz’ and delight customers.

Other headline speakers include Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson Hamad Buamim, president & CEO, Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Julia Goldin, chief marketing officer at the LEGO Group.

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