We’re committed to making sure our workplaces and policies allow our employees to contribute their very best, fulfilling their potential and addressing customer needs. We will continue to find ways to support our employees and engage them as ambassadors of the C&A brand.
At C&A Brazil, in August 2017, we created a Diversity Committee, which will work on diversity across ethnic origin, gender and LGBTQ+. In 2018, we will raise awareness about these issues locally.
C&A employees by gender and contract type
C&A employees by contract type and location
Signing the UN Women's Empowerment Principles
On International Women’s Day in March 2018, we announced that C&A had signed the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles, committing the company to gender parity and the empowerment of women. Women are the driving force behind the apparel industry and our brand, and gender parity is an important principle of C&A's culture.
C&A businesses announced this important commitment to employees through letter (Europe), video (Mexico), intranet and live events (Brazil). We also celebrated International Women's Day in our stores, launching a collection of T-shirts in Mexico in collaboration with local artist Motoko, and giving out chocolates in Germany.
Our commitment to the Women's Empowerment Principles is in line with our activity in partnership with C&A Foundation, which is working to achieve gender equity in the apparel industry. Both C&A and C&A Foundation strongly believe that to fundamentally transform fashion into a force for good, gender inequality and violence against women must be addressed. In each of its philanthropic programmes, C&A Foundation works with partners to promote women's voices, leadership skills and capacity to exercise their rights.
C&A is committed to equal opportunities for all employees, regardless of age, gender, ethnic origin, religion, ideology, sexual orientation, or disability. We support fairness and transparency in our way of working, with our employees and suppliers, and through our Fairness Channels – the tools we use to identify and address any issues that arise internally or with suppliers.
Our stores clearly display the names of C&A contacts for concerns or questions. We deal with any concerns rapidly, working to find the best solutions for all parties. In 2017, the C&A Fairness Channels investigated four cases in total, and investigated and resolved each case.
Of course, we comply fully with anti-discrimination laws in the countries where we operate, and encourage diversity across all our departments. All job roles, promotions and rewards are awarded purely on the basis of merit. Should any issue of potential discrimination be reported, the executive board takes appropriate measures to investigate and resolve it.
Doing business ethically has been central to our company since it was established 177 years ago. In line with our values, we have a deeply rooted respect for others, a passion for serving our customers, and a keen appreciation for trust and responsibility. Today, maintaining our high ethical standards is an important way of meeting our customers’ expectations – and our own. Our global Employee Code of Ethics outlines how employees should behave, what a good working environment should be, and what good leadership looks like.
Respecting human rights
C&A respects the human rights of everyone we work with. Our Supplier Code of Conduct and Employee Code of Ethics are guided by the latest best practice on human rights, including the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Additionally, we conducted a human rights gap assessment and are determining how our buying practices could affect human rights issues in our supply chain, and if needed, how to address any issues.
From this foundational work, we are now conducting human rights due diligence of our supply chain, including our sourcing and buying practices. We have a rigorous auditing process and maintain a zero-tolerance approach to serious issues at our suppliers’ production units.
In 2017 we launched a pilot project to understand the steps needed to develop a sustainable and scalable approach to reducing excessive working hours, while maintaining decent salaries for workers. Suppliers were asked to analyse the practices within their factories that could lead to excessive working hours, and C&A used the ACT purchasing practices questionnaire to understand how our purchasing could exacerbate the issue.
We also conducted additional due diligence visits to RDS-certified supply chains to find out where improvements could be made.
Going beyond responsible marketing
C&A communicates with many different people around the world. We want to create products everyone can enjoy, regardless of age or size, and recognise the need to reflect this in our advertising campaigns and choice of models. Through our advertising, we aim to share our values and positive attitude to life. So, when we’re developing new advertising campaigns, we will continue to avoid content that could be seen as discriminatory, defamatory or hurtful. We apply the same rigour to complying with the laws and guidelines of national advertisers’ associations.
Beyond our duty to advertise responsibly, we are communicating actively to customers on sustainability, with the launch of our global #WearTheChange campaign in 2018, which covers all of our customer-facing sustainability activities.