Zalando sets new diversity targets for leadership team

Oct 15, 2019
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As consumers (and governments) are increasingly focused on diversity at the businesses with which they spend money, this week, e-tail giant Zalando announced that it’s aiming for “balanced gender representation in its senior management, including the Management Board and the Supervisory Board… to ensure the issue is fully addressed at leadership level.”

Photo: Courtesy of Zalando

By the end of 2023, the company wants women to reach a representation of at least 40% of the top six leadership levels. It said “a diverse and inclusive culture will help it continue on its path of success as it allows the company to even better serve its diverse customer base.” It's a bold move from the firm and one we're likely to see repeated globally in the years ahead.

The business, which is the leading Europe-based online fashion platform, said it wants a more balanced gender mix in Its management team, a goal that “acknowledges and actively includes non-binary genders”.

“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,” Co-CEO Rubin Ritter said. “We acknowledge that today we lack diversity in our senior management, and we are committed to changing this. 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.”

The new targets are part of a wider revision of the firm’s diversity and inclusion strategy, in which Zalando “aims to diversify different dimensions of its workforce, amongst others, gender, internationality or education”. 

As a result, it has several initiatives in the planning stage that will be launched in the next few months and that include updating its decision-making bodies and committees, changing hiring practices and “introducing holistic succession planning”. 

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