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The Idaho Statesman reports that Albertsons has a board of directors on which six of 11 members is a woman – and in fact, its percentage of board women, 54.5 percent, is the highest rate of the world’s 200 biggest companies.

Albertsons’ closest US competitor, Wells Fargo, has 35.7 percent female representation on its board.

"Women have insight into our customers that no man — no matter how bright, no matter how hard working — can match," said Larry Johnston, Albertsons’ chairman/president/CEO. "That's important when 85 percent of all consumer buying decisions made in our stores are made by women. As we pursue a customer-focused approach to growth, the insight, knowledge and expertise of women is invaluable — at every level in the organization."

Industry analyst Burt Flickinger III tells the paper that the absence of women on Albertsons' board was the company's "tragic flaw" before Johnston's arrival in 2001: "It was a bunch of old white guys making erroneous assumptions and erroneous conclusions about women and the multi-cultural consumers that make up the majority of Albertsons' customers.”

The company says that 30 percent of its senior executives are women.
KC's View:
This has long been a major issue for us – the fact that an industry that still largely markets to women has so few of them in the top ranks. And while we’ve certainly asked our fair share of questions about Albertsons’ strategies and tactics, we think this speaks well of the company and Johnston.