TAKING SMALL STEPS FOR BIG CHANGE AT HUNKEMÖLLER
D&I Expert at Hunkemöller
The context: Diversity & inclusion (D&I) at Hunkemöller
While we didn’t have a specific challenge, D&I has been on the map at Hunkemöller for quite some time. As a retail company, we direct our business toward external consumers, so we have to make sure that we convey the right message. In other words, what we do internally should be the same as what we do externally.
I think we’re already very inclusive; we make sure that diversity is one of the first things we think about when it comes to our models and products. We also think it’s very important for consumers to understand what companies are doing behind the scenes.
Within Hunkemöller, we had already facilitated a few workshops and trainings to get people familiar with the basics (i.e., what does D&I mean, what can it mean for us as a company). For us, the logical next step was to keep working on our leaders’ capabilities to push this topic forward.
The approach: Exploring different perspectives through inclusive leadership
At Hunkemöller, we’ve done leadership trainings before, but in my role, I’ve seen how important it is to get buy-in from the top leaders within the organization to make sure we can actually get stuff done. Getting them to start thinking about how they can shape their teams and how they will have to continuously adapt to new D&I developments was my way of triggering them to incorporate it into our strategy.
Bernice and I came across each other’s paths and her approach and overall way of discussing the topic and looking at it from different perspectives really resonated with me. She also brought a lot of practical examples that I thought could really help our leaders understand why it’s so important for us to focus on D&I. In our conversations, she shared a lot of her experience – not only with D&I but also with leadership teams in general, so I was comfortable with her knowledge and experience in approaching this specific target group.
"Bernice and I came across each other’s paths and her approach and overall way of discussing the topic and looking at it from different perspectives really resonated with me. "
The impact: Moving forward to concrete actions
The leadership team at Hunkemöller is focused on making D&I an integral part of everything we do and the next logical step was to formulate concrete actions for their teams. Our board is a very senior team and is internationally based, which means there is already a great deal of awareness, but there were still questions like: How do we actually implement this within our day-to-day jobs? How do I communicate this to my team? How do I formulate concrete actions?
"So, Bernice organized a training for us to bring the leadership team together to discuss D&I and how we can prioritize it moving forward. We led them through a process with concrete and actionable steps as a result."
I was also able to use the leadership training to have my own individual conversations with the leaders, and based on that, we were able to create some tangible actions.
The future of DE&I at Hunkemöller
We’re currently working on a new strategy and we’re planning for the future ahead using all the tools and resources we gathered along the way. In sum, we are creating a more focused scope for our D&I strategy so we can create the impact that we’re aiming for. We’re implementing actionable steps that are related to everyone’s day-to-day work so we can continue pushing for D&I within the organization and beyond.