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H&M best fashion employer for US women, according to Forbes’ new list

By Marjorie van Elven


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Forbes, the American magazine best known for its annual list of the world’s billionaires, decided to start a new annual ranking in the wake of the #MeToo movement. The publication partnered up with market research company Statista to list the 300 best employers for women in the United States. H&M is the best-ranked apparel company on the list, coming in the 24th place.

A total of 21 fashion companies have made the list. H&M is followed in the Top 50 by California-based Tilly’s - Surfing and Skate Clothing, which came in the 26th place. US heritage brand Levi Strauss & Co was next, ranking 37th, followed by Michael Kors Holdings (47th).

Nike on list of best employers for women, despite discrimination scandal

Nike has surprisingly made the list, even though the company was subject of widespread allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination against female employees. A total of 11 high-profile executives have left Nike in recent months, after a group of women working at the company’s headquarters in Oregon conducted a survey with their female colleagues, asking them whether they had been a victim of sexual harassment or gender-based discrimination. The survey’s appalling results were sent to Nike’s Chief Executive, Mark Parker, and the newspaper The New York Times in April.

“I came to the realization that I, as a female, would not grow in the company”, said Francesca Krane, a former Nike employee, to the newspaper. ”Why did it take an anonymous survey to make change?”, asked another former Nike employee interviewed by the NYT. “Many of my peers and I reported incidences and a culture that were uncomfortable, disturbing, threatening, unfair, gender-biased and sexist -- hoping that something would change”. Since the scandal, Nike has hired a number of female executives to succeed the ones who departed.

See the full list of fashion companies which made Forbes’ list of Best US Employers for Women below:

  • 24. H&M
  • 26. Tilly’s - Surfing and Skate Clothing
  • 37. Levi Strauss & Co
  • 47. Michael Kors
  • 66. Gap
  • 82. Buckle
  • 112. REI
  • 114. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton
  • 148. Hot Topic
  • 168. Foot Locker
  • 178. New Balance
  • 187. PVH
  • 189. VF Corporation
  • 196. Ascena Retail Group
  • 205. Nike
  • 215. Academy Sports + Outdoors
  • 232. TJX Companies
  • 242. Nordstrom
  • 248. Columbia Sportswear
  • 276. Tapestry
  • 298. American Eagle Outfitters

Forbes and Statista determined the list after surveying 40,000 American citizens, of which 25,000 were women, working for companies with at least 1,000 employees. “All the surveys were anonymous, allowing participants to openly share their opinions”, said the magazine on its website.

Respondents were asked to rate the organizations they work for on factors such as working conditions, diversity and how likely they would be to recommend their employer to a job seeker. “If women, for example, rated an organization poorly on diversity, but men rated it highly, Statista would take that into account and adjust the company’s score accordingly”, claimed Forbes. A second round of questions asked surveyors to rate their employers on gender-based criteria such as parental leave, discrimination and pay equity.

Picture: Pixabay

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