Women Dominate the Economy, But Not the Retail Workforce

If he were alive today, would the Gipper order his jelly beans from Amazon?

Inflation continues to rear its ugly head, as it advanced to a four-decade high last month. The Labor Department also revealed yesterday that the consumer price index rose 9.1% from a year earlier – the largest increase in the CPI since the early years of Reaganomics (1981). 
This week, recession-inflation went head-to-head with the $11 billion immovable force – Amazon Prime Day, which ended yesterday. Who won? The early reports say Amazon roundly obliterated its opponent. But more importantly, we’re now primed to discuss some of our diversity data for major retailers, including Amazon.  
Our analysts combed through DiversIQ data on the S&P 500 consumer discretionary sector, which includes major retailers such as Amazon, Target, Starbucks, and Home Depot; and the consumer staples sector, which includes companies with relatively inelastic products, such as Procter & Gamble, General Mills, Costco, and Kraft Heinz. We also analyzed Amazon specifically, in recognition of Prime Day and its outsized influence on online retail. 
To start things off, we wanted to mention the strong influence women consumers have on the retail sector. Women make up more than half of the U.S. population, but they direct 83% of all U.S. consumption through their buying power and influence. At the same time, Nielsen says a whopping 89% of women around the world control or share their family’s daily shopping, compared to approximately 41% of men. 
With that in mind, we’ve decided to briefly focus on the representation of women within these two retail sectors.
Consumer Discretionary

  • Of the 39 companies we have workforce data for, Ulta Beauty (94.1%), Bath & Body Works (90%), Ross Stores (79%), TJX Companies (parent company of T.J. Maxx – 77%), and Starbucks (71.3%) lead the way with the highest percentage of women in their workforce.
  • Notably, women make up less than half of the total workforce at 20 out of the 39 companies in our database. 
  • Trailing the sector are six companies focused on auto manufacturing and products: LKQ Corp (18.9%), Genuine Parts (21.2%), Tesla (22%), Advance Auto Parts (22.3%), General Motors (23.7%), and AutoZone (24%).
  • Only one company, Hasbro, has more women than men on its board of directors. 

Consumer Staples

  • Of the 27 companies we have workforce data for, Estee Lauder (81.7%), Walgreens (71%), Walmart (53.8%), Kroger (50.9%) and General Mills (50%) lead the way with the highest percentage of women in their workforce.
  • Women make up less than 50% of the total workforce at every other company in this sector. 
  • Trailing the sector are six companies where women make up less than one-third of the total workforce – Keurig Dr Pepper (18%), Sysco (19%), ADM, (23.9%), PepsiCo (27%), Kimberly-Clark (30.8%), and JM Smucker (30.9%).
  • Proctor & Gamble is the only company with more women than men on its board of directors. 

Regarding Amazon, the company’s average customer is overwhelmingly a woman (77%), who spends approximately $2,700 each year. Here are a few other interesting statistics:

  • One out of every 153 employees in America works for Amazon. 
  • DiversIQ’s data shows that 44% of Amazon’s total workers are women, but women make up only 23.1% of the company’s senior leadership team, and 30.8% of the leadership team (middle management). 
  • Our data also shows that Amazon has made slight gains in each of these areas over the past few years. Since 2018, Amazon has added 4.8% more women to its overall workforce, 3.1% more women to its senior leadership team, and 3.5% more women to its leadership team.  

That’s just a snapshot of our retail data. We’ll be publishing more retail insights on our LinkedIn page next week (click here to follow our data on LinkedIn). 

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