Date published 21 January 2021

Marshalls has taken a further step forward in its commitment to supporting and promoting the rights of women and girls by becoming Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) signatories. With this public commitment we will be working towards upholding and implementing the principles across our own business and our full global supply chain.

There are three times more men than women working in manufacturing roles, therefore it is no surprise that Marshalls was recently rated as an ‘Improver’ when it comes to gender equality. We have already taken steps to create a better balance, last year we began working with the United Nations Global Compact on our Target for Gender Equality (UNGC TGE), taking action to advance women's leadership and representation in our business. We are one of 17 organisations in the UK UNGC who are participating in this programme, all spanning different sectors and industries.

We have been UNGC signatories since 2009, working hard across business operations and supply chains to ensure that we uphold the rights of everyone we work with. It is a natural progression for us to now put a specific and increased emphasis on the rights of women and girls and to become Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) signatories.

Our statement was signed by our Chair Vanda Murray OBE DBA, CEO Martyn Coffey, General Council & Company Secretary Shiv Sibal and Group HR Director Louise Furness. Within it, they state:
“We look forward to working in partnership with UNGC Target for Gender Equity to address the lingering barriers to parity whether we find them in our own business operations, in our global supply chain, in our sector or in the wider community. We are ready to act as advocates, take action to address issues of equality and women’s empowerment, be part of an effective platform, to learn more about UNGC Target for Gender Equity and to explore how we can contribute.”

This work forms a key part of the Marshalls sustainability work and builds on the foundation of what Marshalls Talent Director Lisa Villiers wrote about in the article Gender Equality – what we’re doing at Marshalls to redress the balance last year.