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Fostering an open and inclusive culture

Creating an environment where everyone feels a sense of belonging and receives support for their overall wellbeing is vital to achieving our goals. All our leaders are accountable for fostering this and we work closely with external partners to assist us on our journey and share resources.

As part of this, we actively mark key cultural moments across the year, including International Women’s Day, Pride, Black History Month and LGBT+ History Month. We use them to share perspectives and experiences with one another and champion partner organisations who are making a difference.

Leadership accountability

All members of our Executive Committee have diversity and inclusion objectives as part of their goals. They are accountable for attracting and retaining diverse talent and promoting an inclusive culture within the Company.

They do this by participating in cultural moments and activities, and by sponsoring diversity and inclusion programmes so they are embedded in our ways of working. Supporting Diversity and Inclusion plans visibly and authentically is also the responsibility of our line managers, who advance our goals by encouraging inclusive behaviours and supporting localised efforts.

In order to measure our progress as a company and understand the success of our diversity and inclusion initiatives, we also take part in key benchmarks.

In FY 2021/22, we were recognised by the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI) for the second consecutive year. We scored well above the company average across the female leadership and talent pipeline, inclusive culture and pro-women brand categories. We will use the results to inform areas where we can implement meaningful change. Burberry was also recognised in the European Women on Boards Gender Equality Index as a Best Practice Leader and named a best performer in the inaugural FTSE Women Leaders report. 

SUPPORTING WELLBEING

The wellbeing of our colleagues is our top priority. As our people around the world have continued to contend with the challenges presented by the pandemic, creating a supportive wellbeing programme, which enables our colleagues to thrive, has been a key priority.

Through the year we have redesigned our existing seasonal programmes to focus on the importance of wellbeing, launching Wellbeing Days, which offer all colleagues globally at least five days’ paid leave to focus on their health and wellness.

Alongside this, we launched a global partnership with Headspace, providing free access to its award-winning mental health app for all colleagues. We also continued to develop our internal wellbeing portal, which provides focused tools and resources to support colleagues making small positive changes to their everyday lives.

In May 2021, we set out our commitment to support survivors of domestic abuse. This includes a new policy setting out how we can care for colleagues who experience abuse; leader training, including drop-in sessions and a leaders’ guide, and a new section on our wellbeing site with links to external organisations providing help and expertise in each of our markets. Viewing this new section of the site does not appear in an individual’s browsing history, and it features a safe button, which will quickly close the site if necessary.

On World Mental Health Day in 2021, we launched our first Global Bereavement Policy, providing paid leave and support for all colleagues who suffer a loss, including pregnancy loss, regardless of how long they have been with the organisation. Again, in recognition of the crucial role our people leaders play in demonstrating our values, we also launched a guide to help leaders support colleagues through bereavement and a dedicated internal site of curated on-demand content.

On International Women’s Day 2022, we introduced our new support area on our internal site for colleagues who are experiencing symptoms of menopause or supporting someone else who is experiencing symptoms. This includes potential work adjustments, a guide specifically for leaders and on-demand training materials.

Embedding D&I through our internal networks

We have a number of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), led by members of our teams in collaboration with senior sponsors from across the business. Our growing ERGs create spaces for colleagues to come together and share knowledge, experiences, learnings and mark cultural moments within these groups and the wider Burberry community.

Some of our networks established in the US include Asians in America, Black Heritage and Culture Cooperative, Latinxs of Burberry, LGBT+, Sustainability, Women Empowered at Burberry and the Working Parents Group. We are expanding our ERGs globally in 2021.

Examples in FY 2021/22 included celebrating Black History Month with an internally curated musical playlist and hosting open forums focusing on mental health. We discussed bystander intervention in the wake of the #stopaapihate movement, which grew in response to acts of hate and violence being directed towards Asian American Pacific Islander communities in the USA, and created an educational series and activities around cultural heritage calendar moments. For International Women’s Day 2022, the Women Empowered ERG held a number of global open forums and networking sessions, focusing on themes including mentorship, career progression and leadership.

The ERGs also continue to work closely with the Global Diversity and Inclusion team, focusing on education, raising awareness and incorporating intersectionality into their conversations and resources.

DISABILITY INCLUSION

We aim to ensure that all our colleagues can thrive professionally and feel valued in our environments. As reinforced by our global Diversity and Inclusion Policy, we have no tolerance for discrimination at Burberry. Our inclusive hiring practices across Burberry include giving full and fair consideration to applications from people with disabilities. We ensure reasonable adjustments are in place for people with disabilities throughout their career, including for those who have become disabled during their time with us. Our training programmes are designed to be more accessible for those with visible and non-visible disabilities, including written text accompanying imagery, different levels of interactivity and adjustments to fonts. We collaborate with external organisations to ensure our sites, policies and processes are inclusive of people with both visible and non-visible disabilities.

Through our partnership with The Valuable 500, the largest network of global CEOs committed to disability inclusion in business, we commit to including an accessibility assessment measurement through our current global Health and Safety assurance audit programme of our EMEIA stores, aiming to meet accessibility criteria by 2023, which we have already achieved. We have also worked closely with the organisation to provide feedback on resources provided to members within a dedicated digital hub.

Our Health and Safety team works in close partnership with human resources and line managers to support our colleagues with occupational health reviews, identifying where we may need to make workplace adjustments or adaptations to help remove the barriers colleagues with disabilities may face, closely supported by our partnership with the Business Disability Forum, a non-profit organisation bringing together businesses, people with disabilities and policymakers to help make a difference. We are expanding our internal global disability audit framework to identify where we can take the most impactful action on accessibility.

DIVERSITY INFORMATION

Assembling a complete picture of our colleague population is vital for us to measure progress. With more information on the diversity of our colleagues, we can design programmes and policies to best support our people.

We upgraded our human resources systems to make it possible for UK-based colleagues to voluntarily share anonymised diversity information. The resulting data allows us to improve our global diversity dashboard, the platform which allows us to analyse colleague diversity within Burberry. Insights garnered from the dashboard are shared quarterly with the Executive Committee and bi-annually with the Board. This additional information helps us to make informed decisions with respect to our Diversity and Inclusion strategy.

In FY 2021/22, we began engagement with teams across Burberry, starting in the UK, to raise awareness of how colleagues may voluntarily provide certain diversity information in a confidential manner. This includes data on ethnicity, gender identity, visible and non-visible disabilities.