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Silent Voices in the Fashion Industry

“Clothes aren’t going to change the world, the women who wear them will.”- Anne Klein

The fashion and clothing industry is one where women have certainly made their mark. Names like Coco Chanel and Jeanne Lanvin are famously known for their creative vision and artistic inspiration along with many other women who have driven fashion in new and exciting directions. Away from the runway, however, there are equally a great number of women who are not credited with their business savvy, and strategic insight.

According to, “[women] …continue to be underrepresented at the highest echelons of the [fashion] industry.”

At first, this might be confusing. After all, women are the engines of the fashion/retail industry. Just from a consumer perspective, women on average spend more on clothing than men. (Roughly three times more!) so what is going on here?

According to McKinsey and Co. in an article titled, Shattering the Glass Runway, the issue comes down to 1) Lack of awareness and 2) Lack of direction.


Lack of Awareness

Many people do not realize that this disparity exists in the fashion industry, and there is a good reason for this. At first glance, the sheer number of women who are working in the fashion industry is staggering. There are roughly over 82.7% of women fashion designers in the U.S. while only 17.3% are men ( With so many women in this industry, what is the problem? Strangely, Less than 50 percent of womenswear brands are actually designed by women, and “…only 14 percent of major brands have a female executive in charge.” (McKinsey and Co.) There is a major gap happening in this industry, yet because of the initial numbers, rarely anyone looks beneath the surface.




Lack of Direction

This is by far one of the biggest reasons why the gender gap in the fashion/retail industry exists. Many women are not getting the direction or the assistance they need in order to launch themselves into executive positions. According to McKinsey and Co., “One reason women may be less clear on the path to success is because they receive less career advice than men do.” This lack of career advice means that there is a lack of confidence going forward in this industry, and it is this lack of confidence that remains one of the integral factors that ultimately determines who gets the executive position and who does not.

Do YOU have the direction you need to succeed?

If you have a passion for the retail/fashion industry, don’t let the numbers discourage you! At Back to Eden we offer the right experience and support so you too can enter into this field confident in your abilities to succeed!

To find out more about our programs, click here!





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