Luxury Fashion Corp LVMH Signs Pledge To Appoint More Female Leaders

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Fashion is probably one of the only industries that is largely female-dominated. But when you look at the workforce in general around the world, women in positions of leadership are still lacking compared to men, so when any company, brand, conglomerate, corporation, or organization pledges to diversify and give women incentives to take up positions of leadership, we take notice!

Luxury Fashion Corp LVMH (which stands for Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton) based out of Paris have just issued a statement saying how they plan to integrate gender diversity into their culture.

“Diversity creates mutual enrichment and brings us a wealth of individual profiles, making it an essential competitive success factor,” said Chantal Gaemperle, Group Executive Vice President, HR and Synergies.

“Women account for 74% of our workforce, 61% of managers and 36% of the members on our brands’ Executive Committees,” says the statement which also points out they fully believe in equal pay, maternity leave, paternity leave and equal treatment in areas such as recruitment and training.

“We wanted to create the working conditions so that people can grow within our group. We have 120,000 employees now in 70 brands, and provide these platforms for people to meet and exchange and learn from one another,”Chantal said in a statement to Women’s Wear Daily, where she said they expect to see the percentage of women in leadership roles at the company increase in the coming years.

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To do this, they have signed a charter, the United Nations’ Women’s Empowerment Principles, pledging to support more women in leadership positions at the brands they own, including Marc Jacobs, Dior, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, and Givenchy. While 37% may seem dismal, only 16.9 percent of corporate board seats of Fortune 500 companies were held by women in 2013 so in the grand scheme of things, they could be considered a leader.

Chantal Gaemperle herself was responsible for a development and training program called EllesVMH launched 7 years ago which has so far seen a 10% increase in female leadership roles within the company.

And this initiative is now about to hit American shores which will hopefully see the numbers increase stateside also. This is major news out of the fashion world, and it is about time they take the lead on the gold mine they are sitting on (that being, an industry filled with women who make up the majority of it).

Just recently we saw Karl Lagerfeld put on a pitiful display of fake feminism at Paris Fashion week, which made us shake our heads in disbelief at the blatant disregard for an movement that has been the single most important time in history for women and has elevated them in ways like never before. But where Karl and his Chanel show failed, LVMH has shown they are serious about gender diversity, and giving women a platform to ascend to leadership positions in an industry where they have no reason NOT to succeed.

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We’ve seen the statistics and reports which state when women are engaged in leadership positions and senior management roles, a company thrives more so, due to the fact that men and women thrive when they work alongside each other, not against each other.

For LVMH, signing the WEP pledge and increasing this new outlook in the US is going to make a grand statement for the rest of the fashion world to follow.

“We are proud that already half of our brand presidents in the U.S. are women, but we recognize the need to continually enhance development opportunities within the organization. Building on the WEPs signing in Paris by 32 of LVMH’s Global CEOs, the group today counts 40 signatures that are a testament to our commitment to empowering our talent to reach their full career potential,” said Chantal Gaemperle.

So far 800 CEOs around the world have signed the Women’s Empowerment Principles pledge, and we hope this number will increase with the visibility of brands speaking up about how it is important to them, and the vitality of their company. Take a look at the video below made by the United Nations which outlines how economic empowerment for women is vital for companies and communities to thrive.

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