It's been just over a week since we shared our immediate steps in support of the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd.
In the days since, we have been listening to our staff, our partners and leaders in the Black Lives Matter movement, and we have learned about the distance between where we thought we were and where we actually stand. Our highest priority moving forward is to ensure that everyone who works and shops at Lush feels safe, seen and accepted. Our executive team has moved swiftly with the help of our Belonging, Inclusion and Diversity (BID) Advisory Board to determine a clear action plan in support of the Black Lives Matter movement—actions which support both the changes needed in our business and in the world around us.
We are also working hard to ensure that the demonstrations, protests and unified action taking place in support of diversity and equality is not just a moment in time for us, but a moment in history. This moment demands that we take the right steps. Some things we must do quickly, while others we know will take some time.
We are committed to creating change for the long-term and this begins with a Belonging, Inclusion and Diversity strategy. Although we are in the early stages of this work, we are proud to share our first set of commitments to diversity and inclusion at Lush and to the Black Lives Matter movement. These actions will take place over the next 90 days and we will provide updates on our progress along the way.
Our 90-day action plan
By the end of the 90 days, we will have achieved the following 6 objectives:
1. An internal diversity audit
- Leading a company-wide panel discussion to engage with our staff and share details and clarification on Lush’s action plans for meaningful change.
- Ask our staff (if comfortable) to provide demographic data so we can have a clear picture of our current diversity that allows us to focus on areas that need improvement for the representation of People of Color.
- Invite staff to participate in a review of our product names and content to remove any culturally insensitive language, references or images.
- Begin the process to fill recently vacated seats on our BID Advisory Board and ensure representation of the Black community both in the interim and long-term.
2. Mandatory anti-racism training for all staff
- The review and rollout of our mandatory Belonging, Inclusion and Diversity training on our internal learning platform for all staff and leadership.
- Providing more mandatory training material focused on anti-racism and anti-oppression for all staff and leadership.
- Complete senior leadership training on leading diversity, equity and inclusion, and ask that the senior leadership team share their insights.
3. Strengthen our anti-racism, anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies
- Revising our current anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy to ensure staff feel it supports their concerns. We will involve the BID board and ensure Black voices are involved in policy evolution discussions.
- Clarify the process around how complaints of racism and discrimination are received, responded to and resolved so that our staff can safely raise concerns within the organization.
- Put accountability measures in place and clarify the consequences of any behavior that prevents staff from raising and resolving discrimination complaints.
4. Remove barriers that prohibit the growth, sense of belonging and advancement of Black employees
- Providing a resource hub and clear plan for training, knowledge and celebration of Black culture with our staff.
- Complete a full review of our employee lifecycle and identify gaps and deficiencies that could impede the growth of staff who are People of Color. Identify the top areas for improvement and determine a plan to address them across our recruitment, training, development, promotion, discipline, compensation and recognition processes.
5. Put our money where our mouth is
- Donate $250,000 USD to Black-led organizations at the center of the Black Lives Matter movement, providing support to national organizations that otherwise may not have fit our Charity Pot guidelines due to size. We’re proud to support Movement for Black Lives, Black Men Build, Dream Defenders, Black Voters Matter Fund, Black Youth Project 100, Southerners on New Ground, Marsha P. Johnson Institute, ACLU of Louisiana and ACLU of Georgia. These organizations are focused on building community alternatives to end harm and violence, empowering Black people to exercise their right to vote, protecting and defending the health and human rights of Black trans people and ensuring that Black-youth activists and organizers have a voice.
- Dedicate $250,000 of Charity Pot sales to Black-led, community-based organizations that do fit the Charity Pot funding guidelines.
- Create a new model for determining the organizations and announce a structure to invite Black staff to work with our Charity Pot team in participatory grantmaking.
6. Use our platforms to amplify and center Black voices
- Planning an ethical campaign to launch across all North American shops in the fall that involves partner organizations at the center of the BLM movement for their guidance and expertise.
- Ensure that we involve Black staff in the development of the campaign to provide guidance on direction, tone, messaging, calls to action and expected outcomes.
As an ethical company, we should have been a leader in corporate diversity in North America. We know we have work to do, and we’re committed to doing it.