Richemont has nominated Wendy Luhabe, a social entrepreneur and economic activist, for election as a non-executive director to its board.
Ms Luhabe has been widely recognized for her pioneering contribution to the economic empowerment of women in South Africa.
She is the founding Chair of Women in Infrastructure Development and Energy (WINDE) which focuses on the economic empowerment of women.
She founded ‘Bridging the Gap’, an organization that equips black graduates with corporate skills, as well as Women Private Equity Fund (WPEF), South Africa’s first private venture capital fund for women.
And she is a founding member of Women Investment Portfolio Holdings (WIPHOLD) which empowers women to become investors in the South African economy.
A statement announcing her nomination does not specifically describe her role within Richemont, but looks certain to spearhead a drive to become more inclusive across age, race and gender lines within the group and challenge the group’s male, pale and stale image.
In January, Bloomberg published a report listing 325 companies headquartered across 42 countries in a Gender-Equality Index (GEI), but the Swiss watch industry was alarmingly under-represented.
The GEI tracks the performance of public companies committed to supporting gender equality through policy development, representation, and transparency.
Signet Jewelers and Kering, home to Ulysse Nardin, Gucci and Girard-Perregaux, are the only businesses associated with Swiss watchmaking that make the list. Swatch Group, LVMH and Richemont were all absent.