A couple months ago we covered how Urban Outfitters was in the news for not having women or ethnicity on their board. At the time, their investors Calvert Investments and Connecticut’s Treasurer were making demands and trying to point out that shareholders might not want to buy into a firm that was so vanilla in their make up.
The shareholder proposal didn’t “require” more diversity, but rather tried to get Urban Outfitters to “make a concerted effort to at least think about diversity,” said Calvert’s senior analyst, Aditi Mohapatra. Two months later, Urban Outfitters have not done a thing. In fact they had the audacity to say “We don’t have a diversity problem.” OK.
The strangest part about this is that URBN Inc, with Free People, Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters on its roster of brands, caters mostly to the female consumer. With that in mind, one would think they would want some input from women board members. But apparently not. The good old boys at URBN are happy with the way things are and will not be budging an inch to ruin their pasty penis party – a party which I’m willing to bet $500 doesn’t look half as dapper as the male cast from Mad Men, but I digress.
I don’t particularly care for Urban Outfitters or Free People, but I do like Anthropologie quite a bit. However, despite this blatant sexism on the part of URBN’s board, I’m not about to stop shopping there. I wondered if I was alone in this, or if women were about to stand up and boycott the stores on principle.
Should there be a boycott of companies who don’t even make an effort to add diversity to their boards and executive positions, or should we all just shrug and move on? Let us know your thoughts.
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