Zalando has today published its first annual diversity and inclusion report, describing progress the company has made to increase diversity and inclusion in employees, customers, and partners.
In 2019, Zalando set the target of achieving a balanced representation of both women and men, indicated by a share of 40-60% for both genders in each of the top six leadership levels, by the end of 2023.
The company has already achieved some of these targets, with its supervisory board now comprising 56% of women. At Senior Vice-President level, the representation of women has also increased to 30%.
It also aims in the future to better understand the diversity and inclusion status quo through quantifiable measurements, such as the representation of ethnic minorities, the number of colleagues who are single parents, and the size of the LGBTQI+ community.
In an effort to create more transparency, it is working with external experts and aims to launch a voluntary anonymous survey in early 2021 that will help gain more insight.
One key project for the retailer's tech teams is the de-gendering of the websites and apps. As a first milestone, customers can now register on the online shop without inputting their binary gender information, selecting their fashion preference instead.
The company also stopped using gender pronouns in the titles of promotional emails and now uses customers names instead.
In its efforts to increase visibility and accessibility for those with a disability, this year Zalando joined the Valuable 500, a global group of businesses publicly committing to address disability inclusion.
Rubin Ritter, Co-CEO at Zalando, commented: "At Zalando, we strive to be a diverse and inclusive company because we are convinced that it will make us a more successful business in the long term. Embracing diversity and inclusivity will allow us to understand the broad and diverse customer base that we serve in a fuller, more holistic way.
"It will allow us to compose multi-talented, highly motivated teams and make better decisions by incorporating more viewpoints and reducing our individual blind spots. That’s why we see diversity and inclusion as an opportunity rather than a challenge.
"Yet, investing in diversity and inclusion is more than just a business strategy: it is simply the right thing to do. The challenges of inequality and exclusion continue to exist in many aspects of our daily lives. We will only be able to overcome them if all of us contribute, both as individuals and as organisations.
"To be a successful and credible driver of positive change, we need to take a holistic approach and address our core stakeholder groups in a consistent way. We are therefore focusing our efforts on four areas of impact: leadership, talent, customers, and partners."