LS&Co. publishes its first report on diversity, equity and inclusion – Sourcing Journal
After vowing to “do better” after the 2020 racial reckoning, Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) reports an increase in employee representation. In its first-ever diversity and inclusion report released Thursday, the company described a small but significant increase in the number of Latinx and black employees at various levels of the company.
The company’s diversity improved over the prior year, with a 4% increase in Latinx individuals and a 1% increase in Black individuals in leadership positions, and a 2% increase in individuals Latinx and black people in corporate positions. In terms of gender representation, there was a 15% increase in the number of women in leadership positions, a 3% increase in the number of women in leadership positions, and a 1% increase in the number of women in corporate positions from 2020.
The leadership team at Levi’s parent company, which it defines as the company’s top 250 executives, was 73% white, and the company’s senior management and board were even less diverse. in 2020. From then on, he pledged to make a concerted effort. effort to increase representation and release annual updates on employee demographics and diversity statistics, release pay equity audits every two years, and seek a black leader to join the LS&Co Board of Directors . – and a year later, he has achieved each of these goals.
To drive improvements in a year, the company appointed Elizabeth A. Morrison as its first-ever Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and established a Diversity and Recruitment Team academic focus on intentionally recruiting diverse talent and preparing those employees for success. In 2021, she formalized 13 partnerships with diversity-focused organizations, including a three-year partnership with Harlem’s Fashion Row, in which LS&Co. will organize a fashion program program to help attract black fashion students interested in design. The company’s class of 2021 interns was one of the most diverse to date, with 64% female and 81% BIPOC.
As part of its commitment to do better, the company conducted a pay equity audit in 2020 and determined that it “did not have systemic pay differences by gender and ethnicity.”
“We are tackling our DE&I [diversity, equity, and inclusion] opportunity as we would any business opportunity: we did a lot of analysis, listening, learning, and put in place strategies and plans and metrics to track our progress,” said Chip Bergh, chairman and CEO of LS&Co., in the report. “As good as our business results have been over the past decade, in my heart I know we could have done even better if we had been more diversified over that time.”
Education is the backbone of LS&Co’s strategy.
The company has developed a number of partnerships committed to giving various employees the tools to advance in their careers, including one with the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) and its Leadership, Engagement, Advancement and Development program ( LEAD). More than 20 employees have been sent to McKinsey and Co.’s first-ever Black Leadership Academy, which aims to help organizations equip black leaders with the skills to achieve their professional goals.
Last year, LS&Co. launched #thepledge, its global training initiative to build awareness, knowledge and skills to act as inclusive leaders. She has delivered 75 workshops and learning sessions to nearly 13,000 people in over 20 languages.
The company also launched a Global Self-Identification Initiative (GSID), which offered employees the ability to disclose other aspects of their identity, including race/ethnicity, gender identity, orientation, veteran status and disability. It found that 3.6% of employees in the United States, Canada, Germany and Spain identified as LGBTQIA+, and 2.3% of American employees identified as disabled.
Diversity and inclusion extends to the supply chain. Reviewing its supplier base, LS&Co. has set out to create more opportunities for marginalized businesses, but admits it is still “in its infancy”. Over time, he plans to launch a global supplier inclusion program for greater transparency of corporate social responsibility performance of indirect suppliers. He will ensure that the companies he works with prioritize values such as gender equity, protection of foreign migrant workers, health and safety.
“Donating to a good cause is good, but choosing to spend our money with companies belonging to underrepresented groups generates even more value; it enables sustainable jobs and long-term opportunities,” said Lisa Spice, Director of Supplier Inclusion at LS&Co.