24 Nov 2020
4 min read
Embracing diversity is critical to growing our business and building world-class teams.
At Zalando, we want to empower people, from our own employees to our customers and partners, to express themselves. We aim to actively contribute to a world where everyone feels included and valued. That’s why we are dedicated to fostering an inclusive company culture that welcomes different perspectives to the discussion and connects people with various backgrounds. We are proud that citizens of over 130 different countries choose to work at Zalando.
Our commitment to diversity and inclusion serves us in many ways. It helps us hire and retain more diverse talent that better reflects our broad customer base. It supports the generation of fresh ideas and reduces blindspots so that we can deliver excellent service and products to all of our customers across Europe. It further helps us engage our partners and our entire industry in a dialogue that allows us to learn from each other and drive positive change together. Here are just some of the ways in which we at Zalando are promoting diversity and inclusion, and putting it at the core of everything that we do.
In 2019, we set ourselves new diversity targets for our leadership. We aim for a balanced representation of women and men on our top six management levels, including the Management Board and the Supervisory Board, by the end of 2023. This target is defined as a 40-60% corridor where Zalando strives for women and men to reach a representation between 40 and 60 percent on each level. The acknowledges and actively includes non-binary genders. We will transparently report on our progress in our annual Diversity & Inclusion report.
Our internal mentoring program promotes the development of women in management positions, and we have established measures to ensure that the application and promotion processes are free of biases that favor one specific gender. We recognize diversity in tech teams as a particularly important challenge. Women currently make up 17% of the tech workforce at Zalando, which is in line with the average share of women in tech roles in Germany. For our company, this means that more men are building our tech products, which are primarily used by women. To tackle this imbalance, we set the goal to increase the share of women in our tech teams to *40-60% by 2023. We’ll invest five million euros in dedicated initiatives, such as the development of communities of women applicants, the sponsoring of learning programs and mentoring, and the improvement of Zalando’s employer brand and marketing strategy to target more women into tech roles.
November 2020 marked the release date of Zalando’s first do.BETTER diversity & inclusion report. It’s our intention to create transparency and give insight into the state of diversity and inclusion within the company, including the progress we are making on diversifying our leadership levels. Going forward, a new report will be released every year, and we are actively growing our dedicated D&I team to expand our D&I strategy and accelerate our efforts across the company.
Full report can be visited here: https://corporate.zalando.com/en/dobetter-diversity-inclusion-report-2020
A family-friendly work environment is key to keeping our employees happy and healthy. At Zalando, we are constantly working on improving our support for parents. Acknowledging that the COVID-19 pandemic has made adhering to regular working hours even more challenging for caregivers, we have increased flexibility in regard to our working hours and developed additional support measures. Our standard offers include parent-child rooms in several of our buildings, and onsite daycare for kids at several of our locations in Berlin, Ludwigsfelde, Potsdam and Hamburg. Zalando grants three fully paid child-sick-days per parent per calendar year. We further offer counseling services with external partners, and personal consulting with our Family Friendliness-Team.
Our employees are drivers of many projects around diversity, equity and inclusion within the company. One example is our annual Pride Month activation campaign, including the temporary pride rainbow redesign of the Zalando logo, organized by Zalando’s LGBTQI+ community and the Diversity Guild. Zalando’s Diversity Guild was formed in 2015 as a grassroots initiative and our first employee-led community of support for members of minority groups at Zalando. We formally rolled out our employee resource group (ERG) program in 2019 to support more communities organized around shared identity or experience at Zalando. ERGs create safe spaces where colleagues can feel like they belong, foster awareness and support, and amplify employee voices to inform leadership about the needs of their communities. We currently have nine ERGs.
Everyone has unconscious biases and blindspots. To uncover and reduce them, and become more understanding and aware of each other's identity, experience and reality, we encourage and facilitate learning opportunities. We work with internal trainers as well as external facilitators and organizations to offer workshops, trainings and resources for enablement to all of our employees. Some recent examples were our workshop collaboration with ShoutOut on LGBTQI+ awareness, the company-wide roll out of our inclusive language and visual guidelines, and our unconscious bias training, that will be made mandatory for every Zalando in the future.
In January 2020, Zalando joined the Valuable 500, a global group of businesses publicly committing to address disability inclusion. While we are still at the start of our journey here, we are making great progress, for example with our hiring and inclusion initiative for Deaf coworkers at our logistics site in Mönchengladbach. Another area we are currently investing in is the accessibility of our offices. With the support of experts, we developed the Zalando Design for All accessibility guidelines in February 2020. We have begun implementing these standards, such as more accessible bathrooms and automatic doors in our existing buildings, and are applying them to the plans for all future buildings. Looking toward the future, Zalando will continue to challenge itself to improve its diversity on all fronts, aiming to foster a fashion ecosystem that welcomes everyone.
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