What factors contribute to the lack of women in senior leadership positions within the retail industry and what actions could be taken to address this shortage?
The focus of this research, was the field of equality and diversity. Specifically equality in the retail sector, in the United Kingdom. The research was carried out through a Business Management perspective, and directly linked to Human Resource Management practices. As such, the aim of the research was to identify what contributes to the lack of women in the top leadership positions in the retail industry. Therefore, the objectives were to analyse the current contributors, highlight the specifics of the issues, and produce justified conclusions and recommendations, in order to have a positive future impact. Although, the existing literature was abundant, on both the general and specific area of this research, it was predominantly focused on the unsuccessful practices and flaws of the current situation. Completed high quality data, was identified as lacking, and the measurements of the secondary data were not sufficient enough to propose a solution to the problems. In light of that, this research was not of replicative nature, however, it did allow for cross-referencing and measurements with the secondary data, during the data analysis stage. The most appropriate methodology identified was Quantitative, and the structure of this research was formed in alignment with that. Quantitative methodology allowed the researcher to quantify variables for the generation of primary data, whilst retaining objectivity, given the sensitive and complex topic. Representatives of females only, in all positions within their companies, where approached by a survey Internet questionnaire type of data gathering tool. The primary data generated, consisted of 30 respondents across 3 different retail companies in the UK. The outcome was that by achieving the aims and the objectives of the research, the areas of improvement were identified, and the best potential Human Resource Management practices to address them were proposed. Moreover, the argument for a culture and system change, was addressed by recommending what direction future research must take.