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Latino Daily News

Wednesday May 11, 2011

With No Minorities or Women in the Boardroom, Urban Outifitters is Being Pressured to Change

With No Minorities or Women in the Boardroom, Urban Outifitters is Being Pressured to Change

Photo: Urban Outfitters needs to diversify boardroom, say shareholders

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

In March, Atlantic magazine pointed out the “23 Global Companies With No Women on the Boards,” and now, one of those on the list, Urban Outfitters, is under pressure from shareholders to include more women and minorities in their boardroom.

“Unlike its five leading category competitors (by market value) – The Gap, Inc. (GPS), Limited Brands, Inc. (LTD), Nordstrom, Inc. (JWN), Ross Stores, Inc. (ROST), and Abercrombie & Fitch Company (ANF) – all of which have at least one woman and/or minority group member on their boards of directors, Urban Outfitters, Inc. has no diversity in its boardroom and is actually opposing a shareholder resolution that would allow owners of the company to affirm that diversity is valued at URBN,” a news release stated.

The retail chain sells products as Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, BHLDN, Leifdottir and Terrain.

Analyst Aditi Mohapatra said, “Diversity is an essential measure of sound governance and a critical attribute to a well-functioning board.”

Mohapatra is from Calvert Investment Management Inc. from Bethesda, Md, which is co-sponsor of the shareholder resolution that is urging Urban Outfitters to “affirm that diversity is valued.”

Adding, “Urban Outfitters’ current approach to diversity is particularly notable given that its Anthropologie store chain is marketed heavily to women. Nearly all major U.S. retailers have made major strides to embrace more diversity in the board room, making it rare for such a company to take the step of publicly opposing a shareholder resolution affirming diversity as a corporate value.”