& Other Stories Statement on
Inclusion & Diversity
& Other Stories recently discovered that one of our internal documents included a reference to a product using a racial slur, for this we are deeply sorry. We take the use of racially inappropriate language extremely seriously and it is inexcusable.
We understand the frustration and disappointment this situation has caused. We want our colleagues and customers to know that we value and respect all people.
& Other Stories is committed to a safe and inclusive workplace. We have clear policies and procedures to prevent the use of racially inappropriate and insensitive language or images. Clearly these were not followed, and we are currently investigating why.
While internal and external investigations are taking place, we have suspended the team and managers responsible for this area of the business. We will take the strongest possible action to ensure that racially divisive language or images are not used again.
In the past year, & Other Stories has held trainings on the topics of cultural appropriation, celebrating diversity, and representation and misrepresentation in images. We have also hired an Inclusiveness Strategist, which allows us to do the changes we want with even greater force.
In the fall we will launch a number of initiatives, including but not limited to an in depth mandatory training plan for all staff; further strengthening internal controls of images, products and text we use; and are continuously improving the diversity of our own team. But it is clear we have much more to do.
Alongside & Other Stories initiatives, H&M Group has made the following commitments, announced by Helena Helmersson, CEO for the group.
1. By the end of 2020, management teams in our major markets will publish specific targets for improved representation, with a clear timetable and action plan to achieve them. (These will be similar to the commitments made by the H&M Group in the United States.)
2. We will identify diversity gaps within our headquarters and set goals to increase the diversity of the Management Teams and the Board of Directors.
3. By the end of 2021, we will publish commitments and action plans for Inclusion and Diversity across all markets where H&M Group operates.
4. We will immediately create an external Advisory Council with business executives from diverse backgrounds to advise and contribute to our business direction.
5. We will bring together a peer Advisory Council made up of our existing employee resource groups from around the world to work directly with our CEO, Chief Diversity Officer, and the management team to promote Inclusion and Diversity further.
We recognize that addressing conscious and unconscious racial bias is an ongoing effort within our organization and society at large. We’re committed to continuing that journey, and to never be complacent in our efforts to ensure our work environment and our products reflect the values of a truly inclusive society.