Women, Power and Quotas: A Necessary Next Step?
14 out of 100.
In the newest issue of Garden Retail Magazine, which is published by Horticulture Week, the premier trade magazine for the whole of the horticulture industry in the United Kingdom, they've just published their "Power 100."
There are fourteen women on the list. Fourteen.
And, of those, three don't count and one is an add-on. That's because they're either celebrities (two), a politician (one) - who, were the position held by a man, wouldn't be counted as part of this all-woman list - and one other that's book-ended by two men in a 3-for-1 corporate deal.
So, let's say 11 (giving our corporate add-on the benefit of the doubt).
It still leaves us with the question: What happened? Why is it that in a lifestyle industry whose target customers are more often women than men, that women are so little represented among the most powerful?
It's an interesting question.
Demographically in the UK, there are more women than men. Even if you confine the demographic to the age group that the garden retail industry primarily services (which is an older crew), you've got more women than men in the population and walking through the doors.
It's also not that there aren't women in the industry. They're certainly there. Evidently, just not power players. At least not many.
This is not good. Not good at all.
All of which made me wonder what's keeping the women from the power positions. And then I started wondering about the legislation that the European Union is talking about establishing to mandate a quota for women in power positions.
In the UK, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, is doing everything he can to avoid having to go with any mandated quota. He keeps leaving it to the organizations themselves - particularly at the highest end of the spectrum - to self-regulate and make sure they do the right thing and put the women in place.Continued on the next page