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TJX boss calls for more women in retail

Paul Sweetenham, president of TJX Europe, which owns the TK Maxx chain, has called for the retail sector to fight harder to get women in the boardroom.

Speaking exclusively to Drapers in support of the Drapers Next Generation talent academy, Sweetenham said too few women reached the top. “Whilst you’ll always need a balance, there are just not enough women in senior retail positions. Women are the principle shoppers after all. Companies are not flexible enough to enable women to reach senior positions around their life plan,” he said.

He went on to urge the Government to do more to promote the retail sector as a career opportunity. He said: “Retail is not acknowledged enough by the Government or educational boards… The sector just doesn’t have the stature. Lots of people who do well in retail have simply tripped upon it as a career.”

Sweetenham’s remarks came prior to a meeting of retail industry leaders with David Cameron on Monday at which the Prime Minister said he would make job creation “less risky” to boost private sector growth.

Sweetenham is among the business leaders speaking at the Drapers Next Generation event on March 31. Pentland Brands chief executive Andy Rubin, former Marks & Spencer chairman Sir Stuart Rose and Next product director Christos Angelides are also on the agenda. Win a place at the free-to-attend event here.

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