How Zalando wants to become a diverse and inclusive company

How Zalando wants to become a diverse and inclusive company
Photo: Zalando

For the first time, Zalando has presented a diversity and inclusivity report which offers an insight into the company's efforts and commitments on the subject. From now on, the fashion platform aims to publish this report annually.


Progress, but lots of room for improvement

Over the past year, Zalando took various initiatives to make the shopping experience more diverse and inclusive. According to Zalando, their product range caters for all sizes, and the company works with different models who should represent all customers. Also, Beauty products for all skin tones have been added to the range and the number of brands owned by minority groups has been increased. By 2022, the retailer aims to offer seventy black-owned brands at least. In addition to that, the accessibility of all websites and apps have been improved for customers with disabilities.


In 2019, Zalando set a target of achieving a balanced representation of women and men in the six highest levels of management by the end of 2023. So far, this goal has only been met in the Supervisory Board, where women account for 56 per cent of the members. Strong progress has also been made at Senior Vice President level, where the representation of women has doubled. However, there still is a lot of room for improvement as the Management Board consists exclusively of men.


Men are also strongly over-represented in the technical teams, as only 17 per cent of those employees are women. Zalando wants to increase the number of female technical workers to forty per cent by 2023. The company will invest five million euros to attract, support and keep more women in technical positions.


Pay gap

The report also provides an insight into the pay gap at Zalando. The current gap is one per cent, while the average in similar jobs in Germany is six per cent. However, if you analyse the pay gap between the two genders regardless of their position, the pay gap is as high as 22 per cent. This is mainly because women are under-represented in higher positions and technology-based roles. Zalando wants to close this gap further in the future.


"We strive to be a diverse and inclusive company because we are convinced that this will make us a more successful company in the long term," says co-CEO Rubin Ritter. "Our mission is to become the point of departure for fashion, and we want to involve everyone in this process. Transformation takes time. We're only at the beginning, but the progress over the past year shows that we are on the right track."