More than a week after its latest Fall/Winter 2019 presentation at London Fashion Week, Burberry officially rolls out newly minted diversity plans. The iniatives are a direct response to the negative commentary which surrounded a “noose” hoodie designed by Riccardo Tisci. The luxury fashion house took to Instagram to share the initiatives. The news follows the business moves of both Gucci and Prada, who have previously introduced similar immediate responses to social media call-outs.
In the Instagram post which was posted yesterday, Burberry’s CEO Marco Gobbeti issued the following apology:
“At Burberry, we have always sought to build a culture that is diverse, open and inclusive and one where all perspectives are valued. The distress we caused with one of our products last week has shown us that we are not where we need or want to be. We are determined to learn from this and have spoken with our employees, experts and communities we impacted, we have developed a plan to increase our consciousness and understanding of social issues and fully embrace diversity and inclusion. We have a firm foundation from which to build. We have strong values, outstanding people and creativity at our core. Today, we are taking further steps to make real change happen.”
Also shared in the Instagram post are three main steps which Burberry will complete. The first will be increasing their understanding of and sensitivity to a range of different points of view. This will include introducing “additional training for all employees” and establishing “employee councils focused on diversity and inclusion.”
The second step is expressed as “diversifying the pipeline of talent.” Gucci’s previously released plan also alluded to this notion. Burberry will make this happen by expanding their creative arts scholarship internationally in addition to providing full-time employment to 50 graduates over the next five years. Additionally, the fashion house will internationally extend the in-school arts and culture program, Burberry Inspire.
The final step breaks down that the global brand will be championing separate organizations which are also promoting diversity and inclusion. Samaritans, founded in the U.K. is mentioned in the post since it offers a safe place for people in the face of a crisis.
Take a look at the Instagram post below.
View this post on Instagram
These steps include: 1. Increasing our understanding We will strengthen our understanding of and sensitivity to a range of perspectives to help us live the values we hold and be truly inclusive. We will: . • Introduce additional training for all employees, including senior management • Establish employee councils focused on diversity and inclusion • Assemble an advisory board of external experts 2. Diversifying the pipeline of talent We will evolve our pipeline of talent to ensure we better reflect the world we live in and build a more diverse talent base for the future. We will: . • Strengthen goals to ensure diverse representation in our employee base • Expand our creative arts scholarship internationally to support students from diverse backgrounds and provide full-time employment for 50 graduates from the programme over the next five years • Extend internationally Burberry Inspire, our in-school arts and culture programme designed to help young people overcome challenging circumstances and see future opportunity in the creative industries 3. Championing those who help others We will add to our support of organisations promoting diversity and inclusion and providing assistance to people in crisis, including the Samaritans, who offer a safe, confidential place to which people can turn