An update on diversity and inclusion at Rothy’s.
At Rothy’s, we’ve always stood for doing better—for the planet, and the people who live on it. Sustainability is often considered to be exclusive to protecting the environment, but equally imperative is fostering the well-being of our people. In June 2020, we came together as a company to determine how we can further this mission internally.
As a result of important and honest conversations with each other and with external diversity and inclusion experts, we set a list of action items for ourselves. We look forward to sharing our updates with our community as we work towards these goals.
Create a diversity council.
Our top priority is the well-being of our people, and we want to empower them to use their voices. That’s why we formed the Inclusion Advisory Council—a diverse group of employees which includes Rothy’s HQ, retail store and factory staff—who will use their wide range of perspectives to advise on important matters across the company. The original iteration of the IAC was organized by employees, and it now works directly with our leadership team and our external DEI consultants.
Establish stronger systems for employee feedback.
We have conducted round table discussions, open to all Rothy’s employees who would like to participate, to listen to their valuable insights and identify opportunities. To further these important conversations, we implemented our first-ever companywide engagement survey to obtain feedback from every employee. This will establish our baseline metrics and help identify our priorities, and the survey will be ongoing.
Improve hiring practices.
We have adopted tools that help to remove bias in our hiring including how our job descriptions are written. We are restructuring our interviewing practices to further this effort, and to ensure consistency and reinforce the focus on job-relevant qualifications. We’ve also analyzed our candidate pipeline to foster a more diverse candidate pool across all open roles, and we are in the process of setting goals to increase diversity across the board, paying particular attention to racial and ethnic underrepresentation.
Increase representation in marketing.
We continue to increase the percentage of people of color in our marketing and editorial imagery. Our goal is to reach a minimum of 50% models of color, which we will achieve by Spring 2021.
Expand mental wellness initiatives.
As part of our commitment to inclusion, we are expanding our internal calendar of holidays observed. This includes recognizing Juneteenth and Election Day as company holidays in which employees have a paid day off to focus on their mental health and spend the time however they choose. We are also continuing existing initiatives like mental health half-days, free counseling sessions and wellness reimbursements.
In May, we adopted a few new initiatives to further our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Those included hiring a DEI expert consultant and making a donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in support of their critical work in the fight for racial justice. We are also continuing the ever-important unconscious bias and inclusion training efforts we began at the beginning of 2020.
We are committed to expanding diversity, equity and inclusion at Rothy’s, and it is a central factor in everything we do—how we hire, how we design, how we market, how we work in our factory. We are thankful to the Rothy’s community for being part of this journey, and we look forward to keeping you updated on our progress.