In 2019, we shared our vision to be the Starting Point for Fashion. How we’ll achieve this vision is with and through the relationships that make the Zalando story special: our talents, our leaders, our partners, our customers. Zalando is built on the collective contributions of many. That’s why, when we say we want to be the Starting Point for Fashion, we mean the starting point for everyone. The launch of our Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Strategy, “do.BETTER,” is a vital step in achieving our vision.
The do.BETTER strategy is based on a strong commitment to build a company in which respect and inclusive behavior is second nature. This is why we say we want to be #InclusiveByDesign. And while the do.BETTER strategy is organized around four core pillars—talents, leaders, partners and customers—the vision and commitments it outlines will guide not just the “who,” but the “why,” the “how” and the “what” of Zalando and our story going forward. The 12 commitments detailed here provide focus for our actions with regard to talents, leaders, customers and partners. Through our teams and Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) the work goes on: moving the needle on a better Zalando and fashion industry for everyone.
Our do.BETTER strategy vision
Following the publication of our first D&I Report in 2020, this holistic D&I Strategy outlines a clear path on how we want to drive diversity and inclusion at Zalando and in our industry. Our actions will be guided by the following vision:
Our vision is to be the Starting Point for Fashion that is welcoming to everyone. We strive to be inclusive by design, bringing to life the diversity of our talents, leaders, customers and partners.
Our do.BETTER commitments
We defined 12 commitments along the four dimensions outlined in our vision: talents, leaders, customers and partners. These targets will help us to focus and provide direction to our efforts in the coming years. We are convinced that enabling greater diversity and inclusion will lead Zalando to better innovation, deeper customer understanding, creativity, high quality decision-making, and also positively influence the fashion industry.
Create an inclusive workplace for our talents
We aim to be an inclusive workplace that provides fair access to opportunities and a sense of belonging where our diverse employees can thrive. We recognize that we need to proactively lift barriers to entry and accelerate equity efforts to provide fair opportunities for everyone. This includes having a zero tolerance stance on discrimination and activating the Code of Ethics at our workplace. By accessing all internal and external talent pools to develop diverse teams, we also aspire to a more inclusive culture as an effective means for diversity to thrive. To be solution-driven, we will focus on:
Inclusive policies and practices
By 2025, we will ensure equity in policies and practices (hiring, promotion, development) by conducting audits to proactively identify and eliminate biases and systematic barriers.
By 2025, employees who self-identify as having a disability feel included and supported as measured by the Zalando Inclusion Index.
Women in Tech
By 2023, we will increase the share of women in tech job families to 40-60%1.
1 By setting a corridor for this target we aim to achieve a balanced representation of both women and men, hence a share of *40-60% for both genders.
Accelerate leadership accountability and diverse representation in leadership
We aim for our leaders to actively shape an environment that models diversity, equity and inclusion. Inclusive leaders at Zalando are those who seek out and value diverse team members to gain different perspectives, recognize that everyone has talent, and create a sense of belonging for all.
To achieve visible diverse representation in leadership positions we will need to intentionally pave the way for internal talent to cultivate career ambitions within Zalando. In order to work towards our vision we identified four commitments:
By 2025, all leaders will champion Diversity and Inclusion in the way they lead people and teams.
Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan
From 2022 onwards, we will have Diversity and Inclusion action plans in all Business Units.
Cultural diversity and Intersectionalities
By 2025, we commit to broaden the representation of visible and invisible diversity dimensions and backgrounds in our senior leadership levels.
Women in Leadership
By 2023, we will increase the share of women in each of our 52 top leadership levels to 40-60%3.
2 We included the Supervisory Board level in external communication of the goal to achieve a share of 40-60% in each of the top 6 leadership levels. We focus now only on leadership levels within Zalando where specific internal support measures apply.
3 By setting a corridor for this target we aim to achieve a balanced representation of both women and men, hence a share of *40-60% for both genders.
Provide inclusive experiences and representative content for our customers
It is our ambition that our customers feel respected, included, and celebrated through the customer experiences and communications we create. We seek to become a role model in making the fashion industry more inclusive by celebrating customers in an unaltered way with authentic stories. And by making the Zalando experience more inclusive, we have the opportunity to welcome more people who have historically been underserved in the fashion industry. We aim to challenge stereotypes such as gendered fashion, size and body shape, and much more. To deliver on our customer-facing D&I ambitions, we prioritized two impact areas:
By 2025, we commit to provide an equally accessible, relevant and welcoming digital experience for customers from underrepresented groups and regularly evaluate our digital experience by an independent external panel.
By 2023, our customer experience and communications reflect and celebrate diversity through our visuals, language, and narratives — we also encourage and support our partners to do the same.
Foster diversity and inclusion in the fashion industry for and with our partners
As Europe’s leading online platform for fashion connecting more than 4,000 partners, we are in a strong position to help shape the fashion industry for the better. Our industry has great potential to connect millions of customers to the items and brands that celebrate their individuality.
We aim to drive positive change to foster D&I in the fashion industry for and with our partners with the following commitments:
By 2025, we commit to offer a truly diverse assortment for underrepresented groups4 by providing product choices and thoughtful experiences in every category across price, size and style.
Diverse Partner Portfolio
By 2025, we will be the European e-commerce partner of choice for brands and retailers that serve or stem from underrepresented groups.
By 2025, we will be a central collaboration point in fashion, bringing together brands, retailers, NGOs, academia, community thought-leaders, and members of the media to systematically empower and amplify underrepresented voices in the industry.
4 Underrepresented refers to a person or group of people who are insufficiently or inadequately represented - in this specific case, referring to the fashion industry across Europe.