As we remember one year since the murder of George Floyd, The Body Shop, along with many other individuals and organisations, can reflect on the essential conversations we have had on the subject of race and diversity.
On the outside, we continue to stand in solidarity with those who are fighting to change the criminal justice system and who are working to address the structures that continue to disproportionately harm Black and Ethnic Minority communities across the globe.
On the inside, we talked about the many ways in which racism can manifest itself and took action to work towards long-lasting impact to ensure that as a business, we are as inclusive as we can be. This meant that across our entire organisation, we have taken a number of steps to continue to learn and be better, both as a company and most importantly, for our people.
We promised to provide an update on the actions we have taken. We know that we still have a long way to go and we are learning more each day, but we are committed to continuing our journey to fight for a fairer and more beautiful world.
- We established an Employee Resource Network called SEEN that focuses on ethnicity and race within our business. The network is comprised of passionate members of our teams from all functions and seniority, from all over the globe. The group work together to provide feedback to the business about race and inclusion to help shape our strategic direction.
- We have appointed an Executive Sponsor to explore, champion and advise our initiatives on race and ethnicity. We understand the critical nature of having representation at the Executive Level of our leadership team and will continue to ensure that representation and sponsorship is in place to inform our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.
- We have appointed a Global Manager of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging who is shaping and updating our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, with race and ethnicity as a key focus.
- We have hosted a number of anti-racism & racial awareness expert speakers to educate our global teams.
- This year, all of our line managers, leaders, store managers and above in the majority of our markets will complete Conscious Inclusion training, which includes Unconscious Bias, Racial Awareness, and Inclusive Leadership content.
- We have in place a Zero Tolerance Discrimination or Harassment policy and have ensured that race, as well as all other inherent characteristics, are protected in our workplace.
- The Body Shop North America supported the Black Lives Matter Foundation through a donation of $25,000 USD.
- By the end of June, The Body Shop (along with our partner Natura & Co brands) will complete an updated demographic data capture on race, ethnicity and other characteristics such as disability status, sexual preference and gender identity for all our employees. We will use this data to inform our ongoing Diversity & Inclusion Strategy, monitor our progress and continue to work towards Natura & Co’s 2030 Commitment To Life goal of 30% inclusion of under-represented groups in management.
- Last year, we began our US Inclusive Hiring initiatives in our US Distribution Centre. This is a model that aims to eliminate barriers in our hiring practices. We have now expanded this initiative further into the US and Canada retail stores, meaning that in 2020, all of the seasonal consultants in our shops were hired through Open Hiring in the US and Canada. We are continuing to learn through this pilot and our goal is to extend these Inclusive Hiring practices globally this year, starting with the UK and Australia. This means that these initiatives will then be in place in our 4 biggest markets: UK, Canada, US and Australia.
Inclusive hiring is of course not solely about race, it's about eliminating barriers for people stigmatised by incarceration. But, we also know that there is racial disparity within the criminal justice system that can, and does, have devastating consequences for people from Black and Ethnic Minority communities. This is proven in part by the fact that after serving their prison sentences, Black ex-prisoners fare much worse in the job market than other races. In the US, the unemployment rate for formerly incarcerated black women is 43.6%, nearly double that of their white counterparts, and for formerly incarcerated black men it is 35.2%, compared to 18.4% for white men.
We will provide further updates on our progress as we move forward and continue to learn and improve.