John Lewis chair Dame Sharon White has said she struggles to find men to work for her and she has been criticised for pushing to change the retailer’s culture around gender.

White said she “finds it quite hard to recruit men” since she began pushing to balance gender at John Lewis Partnership after she joined in 2020. 

As reported in The Telegraph, on International Women’s Day, White told King’s College London students she also faced backlash for hiring and promoting women.

She said: “I definitely had emails saying, oh my goodness, there are too many [women],” referring specifically to when she brought on a female deputy chair at JLP in late 2020.

“I do find it quite hard to recruit men. One of my issues around gender in the workplace is how do we make sure we can have a decent balance.”

According to the report, more than 60% of leadership positions at JLP are filled by women, compared to 40% of director posts across FTSE 350 companies.