Surprise surprise, men still dominate the top jobs in fashion

Men seem to dominate almost every industry, and fashion is no different.

Despite the fact that the very vast majority of fashion students are women, the number of women leading top fashion houses are minimal.

is a report that’s been compiled by the CFDA and Glamour, and it looks into the gender equality gap in fashion – exploring how gender impacts on careers of both women and men.

While fashion is consumed mainly by women (who spend on average three times more on clothes than dudes), the majority of high-ranking executive roles are given to men.

And that’s despite the fact that so many fashion courses are populated by women (85% of students at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology are female), who on graduating get stuck in entry-level jobs.

Of the 535 fashion professionals interviewed, 100% of women said they struggled to ask for a promotion, while only 27% said they’d received career advice from employers or managers.

And 30% said they believed that having kids would slow them down in their career and make them seem ineligible for promotion into top roles.

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If you have a think about the most influential fashion designers, you’ll probably find it easier to list men.

Sure, there’s Stella McCartney, Donatella Versace and , but most of the other big houses are run by dudes (Chanel, Burberry, Saint Laurent, Gucci…). Just 14% of brands are run by female executives.

And it’s not just in the studio this disparity is taking place.


Condé Nast UK, the umbrella company of Vogue, Glamour, Tatler and other titles, employs three times as many women as men and yet pays them just (on average) 66% of their male colleagues’ salaries.

‘Fashion is a creative industry, and I think creative people have a strong sense of humanity,’ says Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA.

‘We need to look at how to translate that humanity to more tangible opportunities for women in their careers and in their lives so that they can continue to flourish and grow.’



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