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Zalando announces new diversity targets for leadership team

By Huw Hughes

15 Oct 2019


Zalando has announced a target to have a balanced representation of women and men across its top six management levels, including the management board and the supervisory board, by the end of 2023.

The German fashion giant said it is aiming for women and men to reach a representation of between 40 and 60 percent, a target that comes as part of a wider revision of the company’s diversity and inclusion strategy, in which Zalando aims to "diversify different dimensions of its workforce, amongst others, gender, internationality or education.”

Over the coming months, the company said it will launch a number of initiatives to achieve its target, such as updating its decision-making bodies and committees, changing hiring practices and introducing holistic succession planning. It will also publish an annual diversity report that will monitor the share of women and men represented on the top six senior management levels, as well as other diversity dimensions.

“During the past 11 years, we have been very focused on establishing and growing our business, and we didn’t put enough effort into countering structural imbalances that have evolved. We acknowledge that today we lack diversity in our senior management, and we are committed to changing this,” Zalando co-CEO Rubin Ritter said in a statement. “We strongly believe that only a diverse and inclusive culture will ensure that we have the best talent on board and can truly serve our customer base.”

Cristina Stenbeck, chairwoman of the supervisory board, Zalando SE, added: “Diversity at all levels of a business drives better decision making and fosters a culture of creativity, and when at its best it also boosts overall performance. I am also convinced that diverse teams are more apt to create unique products and relevant user experiences for customers, as well as value creation for stakeholders.

“The supervisory board supports the adoption of these diversity targets as a means to step-change Zalando’s progress in building a more inclusive organization over the long term.”

Photo credit: Zalando, Facebook