The Retail Summit launches
with mission to foster gender diversity, promote flexible working practices and
nurture female talent
Dubai, UAE, 21 January 2019: When women dominate the sales process and outnumber men in the workforce, their absence from many boardrooms remains a major issue for the retail industry.
Getting the gender balance
right is a hot topic for retail brands facing new challenges to grab the
attention, and retain the loyalty, of today’s tech-savvy generation of
“A recent ‘Women In Retail’
report states that 60% of retail industry employees are female, while women
make or influence 85% of purchases,” says Gary Thatcher, CEO and Co-Founder of
The Retail Summit, the important new industry event launching in Dubai next
“Yet only 10% of executive
board members are female. This begs the question: can most retailers honestly
expect to thrive when their leadership lacks a truly intuitive understanding of
its core customer?”
It’s a question guaranteed
to produce lively debate when The Retail Summit brings together more than 60
industry experts and 600 international retailers at Atlantis, The Palm from
In one of the key panel
discussions on ‘Gender Diversity In Retail: Breaking The Glass Ceiling’, Alia
Khan, Chairwoman, Islamic Fashion & Design Council, shares the stage with
Julie Hamilton, Coca Cola’s SVP, Chief Customer & Commercial Leadership
Officer and Suzie Wokabie, Founder, Suziebeauty.
“One of our main objectives
in launching this event is to create a diverse community for the retail sector
that supports conversations to foster gender diversity, promote flexible
working practices and nurture female talent,” says Thatcher.
Held in partnership with
the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Meydan One, The Retail Summit
will reinforce that theme with an evening reception bringing together industry
leaders focused on championing women in retail.
In a further show of force
for women in retail, beauty powerhouse Huda Kattan and sister Mona, the brains
behind the hugely successful Huda Beauty brand, come under the spotlight in
another panel session themed ‘Social Media: Make Impact, Not Noise.’
They join forces with
Massimo Piombini, CEO of French fashion house Balmain to reveal how to
create internet ‘buzz’ and delight customers.
“This promises to shed
light on some fascinating insights into the methods used by leading brands to
capitalise on the power of social media,” said Thatcher. “Today’s consumer is
more discerning than ever. If they are not engaged and entertained, you have no
connection, you will lose their attention and their business.”
The Retail Summit was
launched in response to digital disruption and the changes in consumer
expectations that are transforming retail. Headline speakers include Virgin
Group Founder Sir Richard Branson and H.E. Hamad Buamim, President & CEO,
Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
heavyweights addressing the summit will be Julia Goldin, Chief Marketing
Officer at the LEGO Group. Goldin is responsible for inspiring the creation of
LEGO play experiences which excite and educate children around the world
through content, communication and digital channels.
She has led her
team to launch the brand’s award winning safe social media platform for kids
called LEGO LIFE; two highly successful movies – LEGO Batman Movie and LEGO
Ninjago Movie; and new products which integrate innovative digital technology
to enhance play experiences for kids.
The Retail Summit is
supported by event partners Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Meydan
One; Innovation partner: Accenture; Silver partners: Black Jack, CBRE, KPMG,
Openbravo, SAP, Umdasch and Xpandretail; Strategic partners: BJSS, Cegid, Lava
Moments and Nook.