The Power Of Your Purse: Lingerie Edition

I have a bone to pick with L Brands. The parent company of your favorite mall stores including Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works has a major problem when it comes to gender diversity on the corporate level.

There are two women on its 10-person board of directors. One of them, Abigail Wexner, is the wife of CEO Les Wexner. What’s more, there are no women in the company’s C-suite; in other words, that company trying to get you to buy bras based on the sexiness of its models is run mostly by men. 

It looks like investors have a bone to pick now too, though. The company announced this week that it is lowering guidance for the rest of the year. The company will make less money than expected this year because same store sales have fallen, according to the latest earnings report.. 

As a result of the news, L Brands shares fell more than 7% on Thursday before bouncing back slightly. 

The company is reportedly struggling because it decided to stop selling bathing suits and apparel at Victoria’s Secret. Its swimwear business had been worth about $500 million, according to CNBC

I think this is a place where we could be exercising the power of our purses just a little bit more. We can shop for undies at female-founded boutiques like Thistle and Spire or Nubian Skin. We can buy yummy-smelling fragrance from Pinrose and P.F. Candle Co., both of which are founded by women. 

It sometimes takes a little work to find places like these to replace our favorite mall stores that have poor practices when it comes to hiring women. But it’s a necessity in today’s world. Money in the United States is power. If we keep putting ours toward companies we believe in, we can eventually make change. 

- Alicia McElhaney / She Spends Issue #16

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