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LONDON – The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) has accused leading fashion brands of using public commitments on gender discrimination as a “smokescreen for a lack of real ambition”.

The WBA’s first Gender Benchmark finds that 24 out of the 35 benchmarked companies have yet to make public commitments to gender equality and women’s empowerment, while just seven have disclosed two or more targets concerning policies on areas such as pay, leadership and harassment.

Pauliina Murphy, WBA’s engagement director, said: “Apparel isn’t walking the talk when it comes to gender equality. For decades, these companies’ clothes have dressed and inspired millions of women. But the same clothes are empowering some at the expense of others.”

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