Kering is not only an UN Women’s Empowerment Principles signatory, but has been ranked as one of the leading global companies on gender equality by, amongst others, the Equileap Top 100 and the Thomson Reuters Diversity & Inclusion Index. This commitment aligns with Step 1: Embed GRDD in policies.
Since 2005, Kering’s Code of Ethics highlights core principles that all of their employees need to abide by. Both in their professional capacity as well as in their relations with Kering’s stakeholders. The Code of Ethics also includes a “Group Suppliers’ Charter which is the ethical expectations from their business partners.
In 2014, building on the success with their robust Code of Ethics, Kering launched an ethics training campaign for all of the Group’s employees. It focused on Kering’s key ethical areas, including placing women empowerment at the centre of its business operations.
Kering also established a sustainability department that reports directly to the CEO, demonstrating the commitments made by leadership.
“Kering has been ranked as one of the leading global companies on gender equality.”
In 2019, Kering highlighted the following achievements, and more, as a part of their gender equality strategy and policy:
- Establishing a gender strategy with specific, time-bound targets.
- Undergoing a third-party gender equality evaluation.
- Implementing a progressive global parental leave policy in almost 50 countries.
- Pursuing fair compensation for all workers by requiring suppliers to extend formal contracts.
- Being recognised as a global leader (compared with other global brands) in ensuring women are well-represented in the Group at all levels. Currently, women account for 55% of the Group’s managers, 63% of the total workforce, 33% of Executive Committee members, and 60% of Directors.
- Focusing on women’s economic resilience across their supply chains through micro-loans, skills training and education.
- Having a comprehensive gender-responsive grievance mechanism for its employees, and ensures that supply chain workers have access to the same mechanism to raise complaints.
“Kering partnered with BSR to explore the less visible barriers to women’s economic empowerment in Italy and to establish how luxury companies can tackle them.”
Application to other enterprises
While Kering has gone far with their gender equality polices, by using Gender-Responsive Due Diligence, they, and other enterprises, can go further. BSR’s 2019 review of Kering’s commitments to gender equality still found areas for improvement. Namely, women were not holding many leadership positions in the companies within their supply chain and their own enterprise. This prompted Kering to promote gender equality more within their supplier engagements and with relevant stakeholders.
This case study was written in collaboration with Plan International and Partnering for Social Impact.