EILEEN FISHER Community,
I’m writing to share some of the humbling work we’ve done since we posted our support for Black Lives Matter and the protests that are taking place around the globe. We continue to feel sadness and anger about the murder of Black men and women at the hands of the police, most recently Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. This reckoning on racial injustice, violence and oppression is long overdue. And we know we have work to do within our own walls.
Since our post, we’ve taken time to reflect and examine how racism has affected employees at our company. Along with senior leaders, I’ve heard from Black employees about their experiences, both personally and at work. We’ve also received feedback from our customers and responded to their comments and concerns. Many of these stories have been difficult for me to hear, but I believe wholeheartedly in active listening as a powerful step toward positive change.
When I created EILEEN FISHER, I envisioned a workplace where all employees could truly thrive. We’ve fallen short—and for this, I take responsibility. We can and will do better to stand up against all forms of racism in our corporate offices, stores and social media platforms. That is my commitment to this company and to you.
I want to be as transparent as possible about where we are in our journey. There’s a lot of work to be done, and we will continue to share our progress as we go. This is just the beginning.
We’ve contracted The Winters Group, a consultancy focused on transformative, sustainable solutions for equity and inclusion, to speak to the EILEEN FISHER community at two upcoming company-wide forums. These forums will engage employees in discussion about the current racial climate, how to have productive conversations about race and how to be an active participant and ally in this movement.
We’re updating our current anti-harassment and discrimination policy to include language that explicitly states our zero tolerance policy. We will not accept behavior that is racist, demeaning, homophobic or xenophobic. We will not tolerate retaliation against employees for reporting harassment or discrimination. Because we heard that many employees don’t feel safe reporting incidents, we’re also working to create a new process that will allow employees to share anonymously.
We’re committed to increasing representation of Black employees in leadership. Although we’re not actively hiring this year, we do have two open leadership roles and will include at least one Black candidate in our final interviews for each position.
As more roles open in the future, we’ll continue to focus on increasing the diversity of our candidate pool. Our first step will be to build meaningful relationships with five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by the end of 2020. We’ll continue to partner with more HBCUs over the next five years.
We commit to providing transparency around our data and efforts to build a more inclusive and diverse culture. We will publicly share a detailed annual report of our demographics in January 2021 and will continue to update this yearly.
In my own learning journey, I’ve been asking myself: What is mine to do? What is ours to do together? This work is deeply personal and must be owned by each of us individually. I believe we can make our strongest impact as a collective, using our company as a platform for change. I hope you’ll join me.
June 24, 2020
Working Together to
Stop Hate Online
We believe in the power of collective action. That’s why we’re joining Stop Hate for Profit, a campaign asking Facebook to take accountability for its role in spreading misinformation and amplifying messages of hate, racism, anti-Semitism and violence.
Along with other industry partners, we’re pausing all ads on Facebook and Instagram for the month of July. By withholding our advertising dollars, together we can demand that Facebook take meaningful steps to create a platform that’s safer for all communities.
June 3, 2020
We Stand Against
We are heartbroken by the murder of George Floyd and the events unfolding across our country. We stand with those who are protesting against systemic racism, which has gone on far too long. Yes, some of our stores were damaged, but property can be replaced.
To help ensure human rights and the fair treatment of all people, the Eileen Fisher Foundation made a donation of $25,000 each to the Loveland Foundation, a therapy fund for Black women and girls, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, a legal organization fighting for racial justice. We hope you’ll join us.
There’s still so much to do, and we know that change happens from the inside out. We’re committed to doing the hard work. This is just the beginning.