Caring for People
“We Care and We Dare, whatever the circumstances.”
While the public health crisis of 2020 created unprecedented human and organizational challenges, Kering maintained its Human Resources objective, namely to be the employer of choice in the Luxury sector. Béatrice Lazat, Chief People Officer, looks back on the year.
What did the Human Resources teams do during the health crisis?
Their challenge was twofold: to guarantee the health and safety of our employees, while at the same time helping our Houses with the continuity of business activities. Faced with the pandemic, we ensured that preventive measures were rigorously implemented at all our sites as the situation evolved in the 50 countries where we operate. We supported managers in introducing remote working for their teams, ensured the distribution of face masks, deployed testing at our sites, launched online medical consultations, and offered a hotline for psychological support. At every level of the organization, the teams showed commitment and a willingness to respond. As early as February, we increased our internal communications in the form of messaging, videos, virtual coffees, and livestreams, both to inform employees about the Group’s strategy and to let them know about our initiatives to help healthcare workers and others affected by the crisis. This engagement on our employee platform meant that we could maintain links between teams and encourage employees to share advice about making the best of remote working. Our learning teams also played an active role in this by expanding the online learning courses available. Nearly 11,000 Gucci employees underwent training via the Retail Academy, for example.
Did the health crisis lead the Group to change its objectives in terms of Human Resources?
Even though employees had to cope with an emergency situation, which was naturally unforeseeable, we never departed from our original vision and ambition—to be the employer of choice in the Luxury sector. Our promise as an employer is based on two commitments: ‘We Care’ and ‘We Dare.’
‘We Care’ expresses our desire to look after our teams, our recruitment candidates, and our partners. It means creating a working environment that is open, caring and designed to allow people to flourish, while also providing the tools needed to create a positive work/life balance. And it is the reason why, for example, we further extended our Parental Policy: since January 1st, 2020, every employee within the Group and its Houses who becomes a parent benefits from the same entitlement to 14 weeks’ leave on full pay.
‘We Dare’ reflects our determination to surpass limits and to be facilitators of the changes that we would like to see. This is embedded in our entrepreneurial culture, which encourages responsibility, creativity, and risk-taking. Our commitments are rooted in the Group’s history and identity, which inspire and guide the HR teams on a daily basis.
How much attention is paid to diversity and inclusion in Kering’s approach to Human Resources?
Diversity and inclusion (D&I) meet at the crossroads of ‘We Care’ and ‘We Dare.’ D&I are key factors for delivering equality and creativity, and are therefore inseparable from our strategy. At Kering, we support multi-dimensional diversity, where each person’s unique nature—in terms of their cultural background, gender, ethnic origin, age, disability, etc.—enriches the Group. It is essential to create an environment where everyone is valued, respected, and treated equally so that employees can develop and fulfill their true potential. It is also a vital condition for building collective intelligence, a fundamental concept at Kering.
For Kering, diversity and inclusion are key to guaranteeing well-being at work and achieving excellence.
In practical terms, what are you doing to promote diversity and inclusion?
We have supported equality for women at work for a long time. We are particularly proud to be one of the companies with the highest number of female employees on France’s CAC 40 index. Today, women represent 63% of the total workforce, and 55% of the managers.
It’s crucial for diversity to be taken into account from the moment we start hiring. We have therefore created an ‘inclusive recruitment’ training program for recruiters and managers. To make all employees aware of diversity, every House has established a Diversity & Inclusion Committee. In total, 130 members of these committees are working to draw up practical action plans.
Aside from these initiatives, we are actively combating all forms of discrimination, particularly where the LGBTQIA+ community is concerned. In 2019, we created ALL, an employee network designed to encourage dialogue and awareness, both internally and externally. Today, ALL has more than 1,000 ambassadors around the world. Fighting racism is another of our priorities. To support the Black Lives Matter movement, the Group and its Houses made two donations in 2020 to activist groups in the US: the NAACP and Campaign Zero.
We consider these commitments to be essential, and we aim to deliver on them with pragmatism, humility, and great determination. For Kering, Luxury should enable everyone to express their own unique personality and be a part of driving diversity in the workplace and beyond. Our work at Human Resources is to help make this vision a reality.
Discover the other sections of our Activity report
What were the key challenges of 2020? How did our teams respond to the situation? What are our proudest achievements? What are our priorities? Our objectives? Read interviews with Jean-François Palus, Group Managing Director, Béatrice Lazat, Chief People Officer, Grégory Boutté, Chief Client & Digital Officer and Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability and Institutional Affairs Officer.