Next founder George Davies has said that more women need to be hired for top jobs in British fashion as they have “more vision than men”.

The veteran retailer, who also launched M&S’s Per Una range and established George at Asda, said this move would help boost the struggling high street.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme, Davies said: “If there was better representation of them [women] in executive teams, maybe the high street wouldn’t be struggling as much as it is.

“[Women] work quicker and harder than men. The retail industry needs people who visit stores and understand customers and that’s why I think the gender mix on executive boards should be at least equal.”

Davies added that he has always “surrounded himself with women” at work. According to the Guardian, the board of his current venture, fashion chain FG4, is made up of 51 women and 19 men, a 67% to 33% split.

In June, campaign group Women in Retail published its gender diversity report which showed that just 10% of executive board members and 20% of executive team members are women. This contrasts with 60% of employees being women and women making, or influencing, 85% of all purchases.

Retail Week launched its Be Inspired campaign in March this year, aiming to encourage women into top roles in retail.