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 to name a few. We use them to share perspectives and experiences with one another and champion partner organisations who are making a difference.
All members of our Executive Committee are accountable for attracting and retaining diverse talent and fostering an inclusive culture and formal D&I objectives are included in their goals. They sponsor D&I programmes and participate in specific activities and cultural moments to reinforce the importance of our initiatives and ensure they are embedded in our ways of working.
Across the organisation, all line managers have a formal objective to support D&I plans visibly and authentically, from championing more inclusive behaviours to supporting localised efforts.
Members of our Executive Committee sponsor the D&I action plans we are rolling out in 2021, at both the regional and functional levels.
Wellbeing helps our colleagues create open spaces in their lives to care for themselves and each other. We believe in creating an environment where people can bring their best selves to work, share how they feel and speak openly about their own health and wellbeing. We ensure our wellbeing priorities are closely linked with our D&I agenda, so we are mindful of everyone’s needs across Burberry.
Our dedicated wellbeing space hosts online information, tools and interactive resources to help support the mental and physical health of our colleagues. This includes access to free, confidential counselling through our Employee Assistance Programme.
As a signatory of the Time to Change pledge, we are committed to creating a more open and understanding culture within the workplace, helping break down the stigmas that can exist around mental health.
In addition, our longstanding partnership with the Samaritans involves supporting core programmes and working with the organisation to provide help to those who need it.
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.
We have a longstanding commitment to supporting the LGBTQ+ community, from partnering with organisations making an impact to championing the community in our collections.
Burberry was one of the earliest adopters of the UN Standards of Conduct for Business, becoming a signatory ahead of its launch in Europe in 2017. The standards were designed to eliminate LGBTI discrimination in the workplace and beyond. Since then, we have become a signatory of the Stonewall Diversity Champions Programme, giving us access to Stonewall’s expertise and resources to guide us.
We also partner with the Albert Kennedy Trust, UK Black Pride and Stonewall in driving awareness, providing community support and increasing advocacy. In 2021, all our partners have contributed to internal events and hosted workshops focused on intersectionality, being a better ally and ensuring workplace inclusivity.
We partner with two organisations to help make our sites, policies and processes more inclusive of those with both visible and invisible disabilities.
We are a member of the Business Disability Forum, a non-profit organisation bringing together businesses, those with disabilities and policymakers to help make a difference. We are also part of The Valuable 500, the largest network of global CEOs committed to disability inclusion in business, encompassing 55 different sectors and more than 12 million employees.
We are expanding our internal global disability audit framework to identify where we can take the most impactful action on accessibility. Our Health and Safety team works in close partnership with HR 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 disabled colleagues may face.
We are firmly committed to achieving gender equality across our organisation globally. We have reviewed and implemented policies, programmes and practices to support this ambition. Burberry maintained a leading position in the FTSE 100 for women in leadership for a third consecutive year, according to the latest Hampton-Alexander Review and was included in the Bloomberg 2021 Gender-Equality Index for the first time, scoring 10 percentage points more than the company average. The index is a global benchmark for measuring companies’ progress across five pillars: female leadership and talent pipeline, equal pay and gender pay parity, inclusive culture, sexual harassment policies and pro-women brand.
Reinforcing our commitment to building an inclusive future where everyone can succeed, we have adopted the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles. Spanning corporate leadership, wellbeing, training, community efforts and transparency of disclosure, the framework builds on the actions we are taking as part of our overall global D&I Strategy.
We believe that having a simple and transparent reward strategy will drive fairness and parity in all reward decisions across our organisation, ensuring we provide the right level of salary and benefits for all roles. Our reward philosophy is to provide competitive remuneration packages to all our colleagues in line with their level and expertise. This is closely aligned to our performance management processes, focusing on recognising and rewarding our colleagues for high performance.
Since 2017, we have published a gender pay gap report in the UK, where a third of our colleagues are based. Distinct from equal pay, it measures the differences between the average earnings and bonus pay of men and women. Our ambition is to close our gender pay gap, significantly narrowing it in the UK by 2025. Read our latest gender pay gap report here.
We believe it is important to champion our communities and help build a society where everyone is respected and valued. We continue to amplify and advocate for the changemakers, organisations and initiatives that are having a meaningful impact on our communities.
The acts of violence against members of the Black/African American and ethnically diverse communities in the US and UK in 2020 represented how much progress still needs to be made to eliminate racism and prejudice. We publicly condemned the attacks, united in solidarity with those standing up against hate and accelerated our efforts to foster an inclusive culture. We held open forums to encourage dialogue, shared educational resources for continued learning and provided additional counselling and support for our colleagues. We also introduced training to reinforce the importance of meaningful allyship. As allies, we continue to speak up and take action against all forms of discrimination, most recently providing our support to the Asian community.
Building on our support for young people, in November 2020 we made a substantial donation to youth-related causes, partnering with Marcus Rashford MBE, youth centres and global charities to fund education programmes, support young creatives and help emerging entrepreneurs tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges. In 2021, the Burberry Foundation entered a new partnership with London Youth, providing young people in some of London’s most deprived communities with the resources and support to build resilience against the short and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Burberry also works with The Prince’s Trust Women Supporting Women initiative, a longstanding charity partner, enabling hundreds of women to access virtual speed interviews with employers, online courses to develop employability skills and education support through the Change a Girl’s Life campaign.
We partner with Investing in Ethnicity on increasing representation in business and engage with the wider industry on furthering diversity and inclusion in the British luxury and fashion sector, as one of the founding members of the British Fashion Council’s Diversity and Inclusion steering group.
We believe that nurturing the next generation of diverse creative voices is vital to creating a better, more inclusive future. Last year, we expanded Burberry Inspire internationally. Funded by The Burberry Foundation, Burberry Inspire is the first in-school arts and culture programme of its scope and scale designed to understand how exposure to the arts can have a positive effect on young people’s lives. The programme has helped more than 5,500 students across Yorkshire, UK and New York, USA since 2018.