“Men assume short women are not CEOs”, Ann Summers boss says

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Ann Summers
// Ann Summers boss said she has suffered heightism as well as sexism in the boardroom
// Jacqueline Gold, who is 5ft 1in, is worth at least £470m
// Despite leading Ann Summers for 34 years, her position was still treated with scepticism by taller men

Ann Summers chief executive Jacqueline Gold has said she has suffered heightism as well as sexism in the boardroom, with men assuming that short women are not chief executives.

Gold, who is 5ft 1in, is worth at least £470 million and warned that the pursuit of equality was “still not job done”.

She said that despite leading the lingerie company for 34 years, her position was still treated with scepticism by taller men in meetings.


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“I’m only 5ft 1in, I looked younger than I was at 21, and my managing director was very tall,” Gold said.

“Although she was a woman, she was very tall. So there is this bias that if you’re short and female you can’t possibly be running the business. But I still have that now.”

She added that when a male colleague accompanied her to a meeting, people would assume he was more senior and important.

“There were very few businesswomen. So about being a woman in business, you’d meet somebody at a meeting, and they would assume that your colleague, if they were a man, was senior and they would start talking to them. There is a possibility that still goes on now.”

She recalled an incident in 2016 when she had been booked as a leading speaker for a retail conference but a man assumed she was a technical helper, interrupting her interview to complain that she had not got his visual presentation ready.

Gold said that even now some men struggled to believe women could be financially successful.

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Read More: “Men assume short women are not CEOs”, Ann Summers boss says