Petition Closed
Petitioning CEO, Urban Outfitters Glen Senk and 1 other

Urban Outfitters: Add Women and Minorities to the Board of Directors

Women and minorities continue to advance at glacial pace within corporate America. While women constitute 85% of purchasing power and make up nearly half the U.S. workforce, they still represent only 15% of Fortune 500 director positions, a statistic that has remained essentially flat over the past few years.

A growing number of companies are realizing the benefits that diversity can bring to bear in the boardroom; however companies such as Urban Outfitters have yet to get the message. Unlike its five main competitors: The Gap, Limited Brands, Nordstrom, Ross Stores, and Abercrombie and Fitch- all of which have at least one woman and/or minority on their board of directors, Urban Outfitters has NONE. Despite the fact that, two of Urban Outfitter's major brands: Anthropologie and Free People- target their merchandise ONLY to women, the company has opposed investor efforts aimed at increasing diversity. Urban Outfitters’ Board gives no indication on how it plans to move from a Board that has NO women and NO minorities to a Board that is more reflective of its consumers, shareholders, and employees.

Sustainable and responsible investment firms such as Calvert Investments, where I work, have been advocating for board diversity because we believe it makes good business sense.  Companies are starting to hear from their shareholders on why diversity is important, but they need to hear from their customers too! 

Take action NOW and tell the Board of Urban Outfitters that consumers and concerned citizens increasingly view an all-white, all-male board negatively and believe that diversity is both a social justice and bottom line issue.

Letter to
CEO, Urban Outfitters Glen Senk
Chairman, Urban Outfitters Richard Hayne
I just signed the following petition addressed to: Urban Outfitters.

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Women and minorities continue to advance at glacial pace within corporate America. While women constitute 85% of purchasing power and make up nearly half the U.S. workforce, they still represent only 15% of Fortune 500 director positions, a statistic that has remained essentially flat over the past few years.

Urban Outfitters remains one of the few leading U.S. retailers to lack any board diversity. Your major competitors including: the Gap, Limited Brands, Nordstrom, Ross Stores, and Abecrombie and Fitch all have at least one woman and/or minority on their board of directors. Further, approximately 90% of your S&P 500 company peers have at least one woman on their board.

You have not given any indication on how you plan to address this issue. For a company that targets and markets so heavily to women, it is critical that this diversity be represented within the highest ranks of your corporation, specifically in the boardroom.

As a consumer and a concerned citizen, I ask that you take the following actions:

1) Take every reasonable step to ensure that women and minority candidates are in the pool from which Board nominees are chosen;

2) Publicly commit to a policy of Board inclusiveness to ensure that:
• Women and minority candidates are routinely sought as part of every Board search the company undertakes;
• The Board strives to obtain diverse candidates by expanding director searches to include nominees from both corporate positions beyond the executive suite and non-traditional environments such as government, academia, and non-profit organizations; and
• Board composition is reviewed periodically to ensure that the Board reflects the knowledge, experience, skills, expertise, and diversity required for the Board to fufill its duties.

The overall numbers are not going to change overnight, however every company must be paying attention. I look forward to your urgent attention to this critical issue.

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Sincerely,