Ralph Lauren Corporation, PVH Corp and Lacoste are among the members of a new fashion industry group that has developed a roadmap to guide the sector toward making measurable progress in achieving gender parity.
The group, which also includes Tiffany & Co, Movado Group Inc, and Parity.org, a non-profit organisation focused on bringing gender parity to the highest levels of business, aims to help brands break down barriers to achieve gender equality.
The roadmap is outlined in a paper titled, ‘Unlocking Gender Parity in Fashion,’ which offers industry peers step-by-step methods to help achieve gender parity and pay equality at all levels of their organisations.
“Across the industry, we recognise that we need to make discernible progress on diversity, equality and inclusion. By coming together to develop a consistent method and approach to achieving gender parity and greater diversity, we can move further, faster,” says Roseann Lynch, chief people officer at Ralph Lauren.
“This roadmap represents a significant milestone for our industry, and we look forward to continuing to engage in meaningful dialogue with our peers as it is embraced and implemented across companies.”
In 2019, Ralph Lauren and Parity.org brought leading fashion houses and retail organisations together for an open discussion about barriers to gender parity, the industry’s approach to change and the steps required to collectively close the gender gap.
The roadmap, which adapted The Parity Model developed by Parity.org, is the result of these reflections and roundtable dialogues. It is divided into five areas and designed to help companies of all sizes, regardless of budget or resources, to align with a consistent approach for delivering representation, equality and inclusion:
- Making a visible commitment as the first step to close the gender gap and keep it closed;
- Executive recruitment strategy as the key to hiring qualified and diverse women at equal levels, positions and pay;
- Executive preparedness to help companies ensure high-potential women are ready for leadership;
- Benefits and policies to improve work-life balance and make it possible for women to do their best work; and
- Equal pay as an essential part of reaching and sustaining gender parity.
Cathrin Stickney, Parity.org founder and CEO, says while the fashion industry inspires and employs so many women overall, it is lacking meaningful representation at the top.
“The companies that joined us are leaders in recognising the need to address this proactively as an industry, and I know that, together with this roadmap, they will bring the kind of progress that their employees need and consumers increasingly expect.”
Manny Chirico, CEO of PVH Corp, adds: “Removing barriers to and creating opportunities for the advancement of women is an important focus area for PVH as we work to drive fashion forward for good. We’re proud to join our peers to collectively emphasise efforts on achieving and maintaining gender parity.
“We recognise our responsibility to accelerate this essential work and hold ourselves accountable to create a more diverse and inclusive industry.”
The paper, ‘Unlocking Gender Parity in Fashion’ is available here.