C&A Foundation believes fashion can be a force for good and works to improve the lives of the women and men behind our clothes.
We recognise that that many of the industry’s challenges reflect broader societal trends, including the imbalance of power between women and men.
We also recognise that the women and men who make our clothes are often from communities held back by deeply entrenched systems of discrimination and exclusion. In addition to gender identity, discrimination based on factors including nationality, race, ethnicity, class, and sexual orientation compound vulnerability and perpetuate exploitation.
To transform fashion into a force for good, we must work to dismantle systems of oppression. That is why we promote women’s rights and apply a gender lens across all our programmes. We aim to address the enduring effects of discrimination and promote equity and inclusion through our work.
What do we mean by equity and inclusion?
Equity recognizes that some groups experience more advantages or barriers than others and, in the pursuit of justice, actions are necessary to correct the imbalance.
Inclusion means proactively inviting, welcoming, and leveraging the unique perspectives of diverse identities. Inclusion is not a natural consequence of diversity, so we must cultivate it.
Starting from within
Equity and inclusion are practices we seek to embed within the foundation and throughout our work. We recognise that a workforce inclusive of diverse identities can help us do our work better, and we will work to improve representation and inclusion of groups traditionally excluded from decision-making in our partnerships and within our own ranks.
C&A Foundation strives to apply a gender lens across our programmes to promote women’s voice, leadership and capabilities to exercise their rights and influence decision-making. We are now actively extending our efforts beyond gender equity to include other systems of inequality based on factors such as race, class, and sexual orientation.
Together, we will openly examine and combat the underlying causes of discrimination and exclusion, and the impacts of bias – unconscious and overt – on our colleagues, partners, and constituents.
We will do so applying an intersectional lens to help focus our attention on how bias, discrimination, and privilege are uniquely experienced by individuals and communities.
As initial steps, in 2018, we commit to:
- Facilitating open, honest discourse on issues of equity and inclusion
- Learning from our partners and other philanthropic institutions
- Forming an internal committee and developing an action plan to guide the foundation’s efforts on equity and inclusion
This action plan will include recommendations for improvements to internal policies and practices, grantmaking, and approaches to evaluation and communication to further strengthen our work, and better align our values with our culture.
As we embark on this journey, we are committed to transparency and will publish our action plan with the timelines for implementation and communicate our progress as well as our setbacks. And we will take inspiration from the many courageous women and men who have endeavoured before us to disrupt inequality.