Fashion Industry - Gender Leadership Statistics

Goals

To understand what the latest and most accurate statistic(s) are that show the ratio of men to women (or the percentage difference) in leadership positions within the fashion industry. In addition, to find out if the data point from Business of Fashion (BOF) from 2015 that states "Women make up 70% of the fashion industry’s workforce, but only 25% of its leadership positions." is indeed the latest version of this study.

Early Findings

  • The lower ranks of US fashion are filled with women, according to a new study on the industry. They dominate the student bodies at schools like New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, where 85% of the students enrolled were female in 2016. They “overwhelmingly fill” the industry’s entry-level jobs.
  • Fashion has a gender equality problem. Fewer than 50 percent of well-known womenswear brands are designed by women, and only 14 percent of major brands have a female executive in charge. (The BOF source is paywalled).
  • The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) recently released an industry briefing (free downloadable report) calling on the fashion industry to do more than talk-the-talk of diversity and inclusion, but to walk-the-walk as well. “The fashion industry has so far struggled to reflect the country’s diversity in its workforce across all levels,” the CDFA reports in its briefing entitled Insider/Outsider. “We are calling on our colleagues, peers and consumers to hold American fashion accountable to be inclusive and diverse.”
  • In this February 2019 source, McKinsey partnered with Glamour and the Council of Fashion Designers of America to understand why, and what can be done, to increase gender diversity.
  • Women represent only about 25% of board-level positions at publicly-listed fashion companies. For example, only two women hold seats on LVMH’s executive committee, but one is in the traditionally female-skewing human resources area.
  • London arts and design college Central Saint Martins has a 74 per cent female student body, while New York’s Fashion Institute reports 85 per cent female attendance.
  • In 2012, Fashionista released a list of the “Top 10 Highest Paid CEOs in Fashion,” all of whom were male and a majority with business degrees.
  • According to statistics compiled in a quantitative study published in 2015 by Allyson Stokes, a sociologist at the University of Waterloo, between 1981–2013, 98 men have received an award from the CFDA, compared to only 29 women.
  • In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources and were unable to find any specific research reports that address your goals.

Proposed next steps:

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After our initial hour of research we are able to confirm that the data point from Business of Fashion (BOF) from 2015 that states "Women make up 70% of the fashion industry’s workforce, but only 25% of its leadership positions." is indeed the latest version of this study. However, this study is paywalled and we have no access to it, even in our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources. We did include the paywalled link to it in our early findings, should purchasing it be desired. Given that, we propose to continue this research to provide 10 of the latest and most accurate statistics that surround the gender disparity between men and women in leadership positions in the fashion industry. These statistics will be ones that have not already been given in the early findings, and will span not just in the boardrooms of fashion companies, but in design and media as well. This will be a global focus and will provide sources from the past 24 months. If a different geographic focus (for example, the US) or source timeline is required (for example, the past 36 months), that must be communicated clearly to us in any reply.