Last week I talked with our team here at Missguided about the protests and the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement, which have rightly seized headlines after the tragic murder of George Floyd.
I made it clear, our central purpose is around female empowerment and we’ve always been proud of our inclusive approach to marketing, model selection and across other areas of our business.
I didn’t need to say it, but I wanted to be clear that in our workforce, race, religion or the colour of someone’s skin has never been – and never will be – a consideration. I will continue to stand for diversity and equality because I’m sure you would expect nothing less.
Traditionally, we’ve chosen not to involve ourselves in conversations around political or global issues, unless they relate to female empowerment. But, after some consideration I felt it was important not to stand on the side lines and we used our reach to show our support for the movement.
Standing alongside millions, we blacked out our social channels and have shared information around how people can get involved or further educate themselves on social injustice and racism- especially in relation to the African American community. You can access this information here.
While it’s dominating the headlines over the past few days, racism, prejudice and injustice have existed long before last week and sadly will likely be around for generations to come.
As a company we stand against that kind of behaviour and my sincerest wish is that we can continue to live up to our values and in doing so, drive positive change as a role model.
But to do that, these can’t be just words.
The truth is, I believe tangible action matters more than generic statements and to understand what we need to do as a business, it’s important to fully understand how we measure up so we can decide what we must do.
This week I’ve also asked a number of people from our senior leadership team to pull together the first stage of an action plan.
What’s clear to me though is we are already a business built on purpose – female empowerment – and it’s right we add the broader values of equality and representation to that.
So I’ve asked the team to do a ‘look-in-the-mirror’ exercise. Only by finding out where we are, can we come up with the map that tells us where we need to travel.
We’ll work across Missguided to understand where we are now, what we can do to improve, what systems and processes we need so we eat what we cook.
We’ll look at the diversity of who we employ across ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation and help us understand what more we can do – not by ticking boxes, but by finding new ways to live our values.
We’ll look too at how we can really champion diversity, how can we really engrain this into our DNA and celebrate it. Let’s properly understand our model and influencer selection and ask ourselves whether we could better represent our customers and society as a whole. Can we do better to ensure our content strategy reflects a new desire to reflect broader values of equality and diversity?
We’ll also look whether we do enough to offer clothing for our whole customer base and how we can make it easier to do that.
This feels the right approach. Action based on evidence. Action not words.
While I know there’s much we do well, looking at ourselves honestly, and then making the right changes will honour all those who are rightly standing together right now, asking that everyone in society does more.
Nitin Passi CEO