VF Corp. launches new initiatives for racial equality
VF Corp. is launching a series of initiatives to advance racial equity across its business and through to its community.
Building on its previously launched Council to Advance Racial Equity (CARE), the parent company of brands like Vans, The North Face, and Supreme said it will add a combination of actions and programs, community partners and public policy initiatives to address opportunity gaps that Black and Brown Americans experience when it comes to education, economic equity and environmental justice.
The first goal on its list of commitments includes achieving 25 percent representation among Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) within its director and above population by 2030. To do so, VF has partnered with Pensole, an innovative footwear design academy that provides students with the knowledge required to become professional footwear designers.
The collaboration will introduce Black and Brown students to VF’s Timberland, The North Face and Vans brands. Students will participate in a masterclass where top performing students will earn the opportunity to participate in a year-long rotational apprenticeship at VF’s brand offices.
Next, VF is committing to apply Mansfield Rule requirements, which is a recruitment benchmark originally developed for the legal industry. The Mansfield Rule requires initial candidate slates to contain at least 50 percent diverse candidates defined as women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+ individuals and individuals with disabilities when hiring or promoting candidates.
And by 2024, VF will assess and resolve any identified pay gaps for employees, sponsored athletes and influencers across the organization through a pay equity analysis. VF will equally leverage its annual goal-setting process to cascade IDEA goals to all people managers. Directors and above will have a portion of their financial bonus tied to successful implementation of IDEA goals as evaluated through a formal performance review process.
Also keeping its supply chain in mind, VF said it will establish a supplier diversity program to double its spend with minority- and women-owned businesses by 2025 through enterprise direct and indirect procurement, and the activities of its brands.
Moreover, The VF Foundation will commit 10 percent of its annual U.S. grant funding to support community initiatives that advance VF’s racial equity strategy in alignment with the Foundation’s investment priorities.
Finally, VF’s vice presidents will commit three hours per quarter to mentoring BIPOC employees within VF and individuals outside the company through community engagement. VF will also work to identify clear advancement plans for high-potential BIPOC employees and proactively pair them with executive leaders for active sponsorship.
All VF employees will participate in a foundational inclusion and diversity learning journey to ensure they share a common vocabulary and commitment to establishing a culture of belonging, allyship and advocacy.
VF has partnered with the national non-profit organization, Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), as it launches Black Equity at Work, a first-of-its-kind certification program designed to establish corporate standards around the support of racial equity.
“We’re excited about our new partnership with Management Leadership for Tomorrow and its Black Equity at Work certification program as we take our support for social justice to the next level. At the same time, our partnership with Pensole directly aligns with our commitment to enable racial equity for marginalized communities with a specific focus on uplifting the Black and Brown communities, which have been traditionally underrepresented in the fashion and design space,” said Steve Rendle, VF’s chairman, president and CEO.
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