DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION STATEMENT
At ZIMMERMANN, we are on an ongoing journey to build a better brand.
For nearly 30 years, our customers and employees have been at the heart of our focus and our decision making and we owe them a more responsive, open, inclusive and diverse ZIMMERMANN.
We value creativity and great creativity requires different voices and perspectives. We value racial equality and want to stand up for Black communities, as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities here in Australia.
While we regularly receive encouraging and positive feedback from our community, we equally appreciate the feedback on what we can do better. Any complaint or unpleasant experience with our brand from any person is one more than we will accept. We are listening and we are acting.
As we seek to create a more diverse and inclusive business, it is important that we not only listen to those around us and act with kindness - but that we are objective, data driven and transparent about our business. This Diversity and Inclusion Statement confirms our current commitment and the immediate actions we are taking as a brand. It provides a starting point for our Diversity and Inclusion Group to set its mission statement, create actionable objectives and formulate action plans over time.
This will be a living document that we will review and update as needed based on our progress and learning. We also commit to keeping our organisation and community updated on our progress.
ZIMMERMANN has made the following commitment:
• Reinforcing zero tolerance for racism or discrimination in our workplaces
• Ensure diversity in recruitment across our business and create a Diversity and Inclusion Group (“D&I Group”) at our company to lead and drive our actions
• Implement additional training for all our teams – corporate and retail – to build the culture of diversity and inclusion we strive for
• Ensure we have constant diverse representation in our campaigns and shows – both behind the scenes and on the runway
• We have donated A$150,000 in total to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in America and the Aboriginal Legal Service here in Australia
• Encourage our partners to make similar commitments and be active in the conversation about how brands can be a force for change
Each of these commitments will be built on by our D&I Group over time so that they have substantive actions, initiatives and projects attached to them to drive results.
It will be an additional goal of our D&I Group to continually review and add to our commitments and find meaningful new ways that we may build on our goals to create a more equitable organisation. There are many initiatives being discussed by our team, including, for example, ways that we can build long term partnerships with organisations in Australia to support participation in our industry by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
IMMEDIATE ACTIONS UNDERWAY
Consistent with these commitments, we have taken the following initial and immediate steps:
• From our call to action to our teams, we received many expressions of interest from our employees to join the D&I Group – these candidates represent a cross section of racial and ethnic backgrounds, roles, experience and locations across our business. From these engaged leaders, an initial group of 10 people has been selected to form our founding team. We will have two external members, the first of whom has already been appointed, and the second an independent person with experience in diversity and inclusion management to assist in providing our group with resources necessary to be results-driven and ensure best practice. We will also create a revolving observer seat that will allow an additional team member to contribute to the group from time to time
• We are implementing a corporate and retail training program to address, amongst others, issues of unconscious bias. We have sourced options for providers in the USA, Europe and Australia and are reviewing these resources to determine the best fit for our business as we seek to provide consistent global training across markets, but with the necessary local knowledge to ensure the training is relevant and effective
• We are reviewing all of our internal training materials, particularly for our retail teams, to ensure that these guides and resources are more inclusive and in keeping with our values
• We have been in communication with many of our major business partners to acknowledge and communicate the positive changes that are being actioned in our business. We have also encouraged them to share their commitments as we seek to collectively make the fashion industry a more inclusive one. Their responses have been encouraging and most have expressed their own determination to create change
• We have highlighted again to our teams that we have in place a reporting system that allows staff to communicate concerns and issues. In this regard we have in place anonymous reporting hotlines to raise workplace incidents in all territories
• In Australia we have recently introduced a structured and paid Graduate training program to introduce talented young people into our industry more effectively than traditional short-term work experience programs. We have resolved to use this as a template in our US business in lieu of unpaid internships in order to create a better training experience and a more positive work environment
We recognise that to create substantive and enduring changes in the diversity of our business, we must be clear about where we stand today. In order to hold ourselves accountable and make quantifiable changes, we must also be more transparent.
Our corporate offices are located in Sydney (172 employees), New York (19 employees) and Paris (6 employees). We may only collect gender, race and ethnicity data in Australia and in Europe by surveys that must be confidential, voluntary and anonymous. In the US, this information is required when employment commences.
We are conducting the necessary surveys and we will detail findings regarding our current organisation across all markets in which we operate.
We will also do a review of our Runway shows, campaigns and lookbooks and report on the diversity of these brand communications.
We know that our ongoing efforts require more transparency in order to achieve change. As our D&I Group commences its work, we undertake to provide updates on our progress and the initiatives we are implementing as a company – this will include an annual report that summarises our efforts to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace and brand.
For the updates around our Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, please visit our People and Culture page here.