US apparel giant VF Corp, owner of The North Face and Timberland brands, has revealed its commitment to achieving gender parity throughout its corporate leadership structure by 2030, in partnership with the Paradigm for Parity coalition.

VF has joined 26 other companies committed to a five-point action plan, which is designed by the coalition to help corporations accelerate the pace of gender equity in senior executive roles.

"At VF, we believe that having a diverse global workforce is a business imperative," explains Eric Wiseman, VF's chairman and CEO. "We take very deliberate actions to foster a culture that emphasises and leverages equality and inclusion across our organisation. We are proud to work with Paradigm for Parity to strengthen and advance our existing efforts."

The coalition is comprised of CEOs, senior executives, founders, board members and business academics who aim to see women and men have equal power, status, and opportunity.

According to VF, the company already employs a number of programmes and policies that seek to empower women in the workplace, including employee resource groups and formal mentorships. As a Paradigm for Parity partner, VF will complement these actions by committing to, among other things:

  • Eliminate or minimise unconscious bias in the workplace
  • Increase the number of women in senior operating roles, with the near-term goal of at least 30% representation in all leadership groups
  • Measure progress and maintain accountability by providing regular progress reports
  • Provide sponsors, not just mentors, to women to position them for long-term success

"Our experience has proven that the most creative and innovative ideas come from diverse teams that understand how to effectively leverage the individual strengths, perspectives and experiences of each member to reach a common goal," adds Steve Rendle, VF's president and COO, who will become CEO of the company on 1 January 2017. "Our commitment to gender parity and workplace equality is unwavering, and it will help to fuel our future growth ambitions and enable us to continue to win in a highly competitive, global marketplace."

In addition to VF, companies that have committed to follow the Paradigm for Parity Action Plan include retailers Cargill and Nordstrom, and software specialist SAP.

Last month VF revealed a 12% reduction in its global carbon emissions from 2011 to 2015, exceeding the 5% goal originally set for the five-year period.

VF Corp reduces global carbon emissions by 12%