Stores look for more female workers


Network and multiple retailers are recruiting more women to even out a considerable imbalance in male to female ratios.

Of the figures Mobile News received, 3’s retail stores are the most disproportionate in the sector, with just 34 per cent female staff, with The Carphone Warehouse next at 39 per cent.

Orange had the most balanced workforce: 47 per cent of its full-time workforce is female.

Network retailers said they would like to recruit more women to their stores as they consider females to have better communication skills and be better at diffusing tension.

A 3 spokeswoman said: "Retail in the telecoms industry is male dominated and 3 Stores are no different. Women in retail are recognised for being great listeners and their ability to empathise helps them build customer relationships in a different way."

Orange head of diversity Jenna Brown said: "We recognise a diverse and balanced workforce is integral to enabling us to understand our customers’ needs and provide a personalised service."

In an attempt to address the imbalance, Carphone is holding a conference entitled ‘Women in CPW’ on September 22.

The event is designed to inspire female retail staff, highlighting opportunities available at Carphone and providing access to internal role models at board level.

Carphone Warehouse managing director of customer management Anabel Hoult and Aurora chief executive Glenda Stone will speak at the event.

Vodafone, T-Mobile and Phones 4U refused to provide information on their male/female ratio.

But Phones 4U staff said the industry needs to be more balanced. One female staffer said: "Mobile phone retail is male dominated and it can be intimidating for a female shopper if she comes into a store full of men.

"Sometimes it’s easier for female workers to talk to female customers and the same goes for male customers and male staff."

Vodafone said its flexible hours and attractive maternity package attracted women to its team.

A spokesperson said: "All women are offered up to 52 weeks maternity leave, regardless of the time they’ve been here, with maternity pay available for 39 weeks."

T-Mobile said it had a "healthy" balance of male to female workers, and did not think customers had gender preferences.

Some 43 per cent of O2’s retail staff are female.

An O2 spokeswoman said: "Our vision for diversity and inclusion says, ‘We want to recognise the strengths and the differences in our people’. Differences can be visible, such as gender or ethnicity, or invisible such as experience."