Inclusion Week: brands taking action for D&I

In celebration of this year’s Inclusion Week, we’re renewing our commitment to promote diversity and inclusion not only in our workplaces, but by empowering individuals and communities worldwide. By continuing to learn and grow, we can ensure that all our brands, people and partners play a role in supporting our inclusion journey, respecting difference and promoting individuality.  

Here’s how we’re taking a long-term view to ensure we stay relevant to diverse consumers across the globe.  

Partnering for good  

Our brands partner with charities, NGOs and organisations that resonate with their purposes to help drive meaningful change for consumers. This month, Speedo UK joined forces with the Black Swimming Association to help address barriers faced by BAME communities in the UK around swimming and water safety. The brand recently launched its Made For Everyone campaign in Australia, highlighting the inclusivity of the range worn by swimmers across the world for over 90 years.  

Kickers is also addressing prejudices around ethnicity, announcing its partnership with education charity Show Racism the Red Card to educate children and adults on the importance of diversity. The collaboration is part of the brand’s Change Starts Here platform, which sees it partner with organisations that share its goal of making tangible change to improve diversity and inclusion, education and environmental impact. Its first activity is a competition for UK schools to win equipment including balls donated by Mitre, and an anti-racism workshop hosted by Show Racism the Red Card.  

Empowering individuals  

Our brands strive to take an inclusive approach to sponsorship, supporting individuals from a variety of backgrounds and championing their passions. In August ellesse signed rising tennis star Paul Jubb, who joins the brand’s roster of ambassadors including British women’s no.1 Johanna Konta and Paralympic silver medallist Alfie Hewett.  

As part of its commitment to get more people involved in rugby, Canterbury supports the development of the women’s game through the IRFU initiative ‘Canterbury Give it a Try’ – a programme giving girls, aged between 8 and 14, the opportunity to learn the sport in a fun and safe environment. The brand has also recently pledged to ensure it photographs male and female players in all its campaigns in a move promote equality in the sport.  

Berghaus embraces its philosophy that the outdoors is for everyone and is a firm supporter of outdoor enthusiasts such as Ed Jackson, a former rugby player living with a neurological condition, founder of The Hillwalking Hijabi, Zahra Mahmood and founder of Black Girls HikeRhiane Fatinikun 

Supporting communities  

Alongside our ambassadors, we look to promote diversity in grassroots communities. As a brand that believes that anyone, anywhere, should have the right to swim, Speedo helps teach children and adults basic swimming skills, promotes water safety and encourages a lifelong passion for the pool through its Swim Generation programme. In the US, Speedo and SeaVees each develop an annual Pride Collection, with proceeds donated to LGBTQ+ related causes and charities.  

Endura is the founder of The Lifecycle Trust, which supports access to cycling for those in disadvantaged communities. The brand delivered 650 ride sessions to children and adults at dedicated cycling trails in 2019. 

Andy LongPentland Brands CEO and company sponsor of diversity and inclusion initiatives says: Over the last few years, we have taken steps to engage the whole organisation in supporting inclusion and addressing some of the barriers faced by under-represented groups in our industry. 

We know that positive change relies on engaged leadership and I’m really proud that we’ve just announced a new executive team with an equal balance of men and women. We will continue in our commitment as an employer to make tangible steps to ensure equality of opportunity and build an inclusive team that reflects the societies in which we operate. 

As a brand owner, we’ll use our influence to champion positive change through the voices of our brands and continue to learn and improve by being authentic and purposeful in our actions. 

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