Breaking the Bias: Women in Retail

Online event - Zoom
Tuesday 8 March 2022 (14:00-16:00)
A busy shopping mall

In a world designed primarily by men for men (Perez, 2019), one sector in which women dominate is retail. Women are the mainstay of the retail industry, both as consumers and as employees.

Women make 70 to 80% of all purchase decisions and retail accounts for 14% of women’s jobs (the 2nd highest sector after Health and Social Care) however, women are also less likely to be in retail management roles than men. Also, women are feeling that the industry does not work for them as either consumers or employees. With the focus on climate change, women are also being asked to take on responsibility for resolving this crisis by e.g. shopping locally and more frequently; cooking from scratch and using reusable nappies and beauty products.

We bring together an exciting panel of international academics and industry professionals to discuss issues such as:

  • Why do product designers operate on a “Shrink it and Pink it” basis;
  • Why does store design not cater for women e.g. lack of toilets/children’s clothes on upper floors/lack of navigation for prams?
  • The size and shape of the labour force;
  • Why are pack sizes so large and jars too difficult to open;
  • Why are products made for standard male sized hands e.g. mobile phones?


This event is part of our International Women's Day 2022 programme of events  which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and is a call to action to focus on the change still needed to achieve true global equality for women and girls.