It’s been 60 days since we shared our internal and external 90-day Action Plan in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Since then, Lush’s Belonging, Inclusion and Diversity (BID) Advisory Board has been working to provide the focus and lived experience to drive this work over the course of 90 days, while also working with a steering committee to ensure our commitment to the work is achieved. This week saw us pass the 60-day mark and below is an update on the action we have taken so far.
Internal diversity audit
Lush’s senior leadership team hosted a company-wide panel discussion and Q&A to engage with all staff from across the business, sharing details and clarification on Lush’s action plan.
Lush staff were invited to participate in a review of product names and content pertaining to any culturally insensitive language, references or images. The feedback from our staff is currently under review by Lush UK.
A number of products have been earmarked to have their names changed. These decisions were made by teams in the UK at both a leadership level as well as by those working specifically on diversity and inclusion measures. Lush UK intends to sustain the lessons learned during this process when naming new products in the future. We will be able to action name changes once new product labels have been produced.
A census was created and was sent to all staff on July 29th in order to obtain a clear picture of the company’s current workforce, creating a baseline to improve representation of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQ2IA + and Disabled people. The census was created with Lush’s BID Advisory Board, People and Culture and Technology departments and saw a 45 percent participation rate. Participation in the census was voluntary. We’re currently reviewing the data and will share our results in the next 30 days.
The company has begun the process of filling recently vacated seats on the BID Advisory Board to ensure representation of the Black community both in the interim and long-term. Five Black members of staff have joined as temporary BID Board members to amplify Black voices in all 90-day action plan work. As part of the BID strategy development process over the next month, the current team of permanent and temporary advisory board members will provide feedback. This feedback will focus on how to create a sustainable recruitment process that supports succession planning in this group, ensures continuity and ongoing learning and guarantees that underrepresented groups are always included.
Mandatory anti-racism training
Belonging, Inclusion and Diversity training has been developed over the past nine months—created by members of the BID team, BID Advisory Board and Training team. This has been completed by all those in leadership roles across the company and all staff were enrolled as of August 10th.
Further anti-racism and anti-oppression training is being developed for ongoing training and learning. The leadership team has completed this training, called Dismantling Racism, which will be rolled out to all staff on August 28th. The content will be available to staff in English, French and Spanish and the training will be incorporated into future orientations.
The learning objectives for Dismantling Racism are:
- Connect racist historical events with today’s ongoing experiences of racism in both Canada and the U.S. to build a better understanding of systemic racism.
- Discover the multiple layers of racism and how it shows up in today’s society to determine how to dismantle systemic racism.
- Explore ways to practice cultural empathy, compassion and communication to be better allies and accomplices in the fight for anti-racism.
Company leaders have completed additional training with an external diversity, equity and inclusion company that specializes in training executive leadership in this space.
We asked our BID Advisory Board which members of our leadership team they wanted to hear from and paired them up for personal, one-on-one conversations to discuss the leadership member’s learnings. These learnings are being shared with all staff through an internal video series.
Anti-racism, anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies
Team leaders, members of the BID Advisory Board and the People and Culture team have begun a review of all current processes in place to handle complaints of racism and discrimination and have proposed a new process using a restorative justice framework.
Our BID Advisory Board partnered with our People and Culture (P&C) team to review the current Anti-harassment policy to identify gaps and ways to evolve the current policy to encompass anti-discrimination. It was determined that there was a need for stronger language and more clearly-defined policy language, as well as more clarity around what staff can expect when raising a concern around discrimination and harassment. We are currently working to incorporate the feedback into an updated anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy.
We are putting accountability measures in place and will clarify the consequences of racist or oppressive behaviors. Additionally, we will identify and remove barriers that prevent staff from raising and resolving discrimination complaints.
Removing barriers that prohibit the growth, sense of belonging and advancement of Black employees
We worked with members of the BID Advisory Board to create a Cultural Hub to actively celebrate and engage our staff with Black culture to cultivate community within our business. It’s now populated with resources, stories and our commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement. Using this as a starting point, we are creating a community space for staff to connect with diverse ideas, values, cultures and each other.
A review of our employee lifecycle and the identification of areas for improvement to support the advancement of Black employees is underway. We are committed to dissolving the barriers that have impeded the growth of staff who are BIPOC.
Amplifying Black voices
Ethical campaigns have always been at the heart of our business and what we’ve become known for. Lush is currently in the planning process to launch an ethical campaign across North America that highlights our partner organizations. We engaged a well-known activist and thought leader in the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as the Black members of our BID advisory board, to provide guidance and insight into the key opportunities for this campaign. The campaign will launch on August 28th and will run through to September 11th.
We have also launched a series of articles guest authored by Black-led organizations. Today, this series features stories by The Marsha P. Johnson Institute, Black Alliance for Just Immigration and the Movement for Black Lives—with more to come in the next month.
Lush has donated a total of $250,000 USD to 12 Black-led organizations at the center of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Additionally, Lush has pledged to contribute another $250,000 of Charity Pot sales to Black-led, community-based organizations. A Charity Pot campaign has been launched specifically to put a spotlight on this initiative and the work of our partners fighting for racial justice.
We have also invited our Black staff to take part in a participatory grantmaking process to determine which organizations will receive the $250,000 raised through the sale of Charity Pot.
While we have taken these first steps, we acknowledge that we still have a lot of work to do. We remain committed to supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and to improving diversity and inclusion at Lush. We will continue to provide transparency to both our staff and our customers as we make further steps over the next 30 days. As an ethical company, we should have been a leader in corporate diversity in North America and we are committed to removing the ego, listening and uplifting our communities to strengthen our fight for justice.
Check back in 30 days for another update on our 90-day Action Plan.