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Nov 17, 2020
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Zalando launches first diversity report, 'green' digital showroom

Published
Nov 17, 2020

Zalando has published its first annual diversity and inclusion (D&I) report and said it has made progress in these areas, with more initiatives planned for its employees, customers, and partners.


Zalando



The German fashion e-tail giant’s co-CEO Rubin Ritter said “a diverse and inclusive company culture will make us a more successful business in the long term. However, investing in diversity and inclusion is more than just a business strategy for us. It is simply the right thing to do”.

The company had set targets for more women in management positions by 2023 and has already achieved some of them with its supervisory board now being 56% women. And at Senior Vice-President  (SVP) level, the representation of women has almost doubled to 30%. The Vice-President (VP) cohort now consists of 22% women, which is up 3ppts.

But the company acknowledged that its Management Board has the lowest diversity, where currently no women are represented, and conceded that it must do better.

It’s also seeing a challenge on gender diversity in tech teams. Women currently make up only 17% of the tech workforce at Zalando, which is in line with the average share of women in tech roles in Germany. 

“This means that Zalando’s products are primarily built by men, despite being used predominantly by women,” it said.  It added that it was investing more money into dedicated initiatives to attract, develop and retain more women in tech roles.

It also said the average gender pay gap for men and women working in comparable roles in Germany is 6%. At Zalando, the wage gap is only 1%. But when comparing women and men at Zalando independent of their roles, the wage gap is 22%, compared to 21% for all of Germany. This is largely explained by the fact that Zalando currently employs more men than women in senior positions and tech jobs, which receive higher compensation. “It’s Zalando’s goal to further close that gap in the future,” it said.

It’s also aiming to provide “a more inclusive and attractive shopping experience” and has kicked off several D&I initiatives in the past year. 

That includes, diversifying the assortment and working with a diverse group of models who represents all of the company’s customers. Products for all skin tones have been added to the beauty category, while “fashion is presented with size-inclusivity in mind, and Zalando has partnered with more brands that are owned by members of minority groups”.

It has a goal to onboard at least 70 Black-owned brands by 2022. 

Meanwhile, looking at sustainability, the company has also opened its Greenhouse digital showroom that allows customers to get to know the designers and brands in a new way and encourages them to make more sustainable purchase decisions.

It features surprise appearances by ‘green’ celebrities and fashion insiders, such as model/sustainability advocate Arizona Muse and the creative director and sustainability consultant Doina Ciobanu.

It kicks off with a focus on eight European brands with sustainable values ​​that have designed an AW20 capsule range for the e-tailer.

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