A Look Back at Gildan’s Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives
As a global company, Gildan recognizes that one of its greatest strengths comes from the collective diversity of its organization. The Company is focused on supporting a culture that encourages the contributions of everyone and is invested in the development of its employees and communities, further enabling them to recognize and reach their full potential.
To bring this to life, the Company is focused on fostering a culture of inclusion and deploying initiatives for developing employees, attracting top talent and building meaningful partnerships with organizations in the areas where Gildan operates to help strengthen and empower its communities.
“We know that our commitment to Diversity & Inclusion across the entire organization strengthens our business and better prepares us to lead in the future,” says Isabelle Tisseur, Vice President of Corporate Human Resources.
Some of the initiatives that were implemented across the Company’s regions include:
Senior Management Inclusive Leadership Workshops:
In the summer of 2018, Gildan launched a training program focused on inclusive leadership for over 180 senior leaders around the globe. The training raised awareness of the power of inclusion, uniqueness and belonging, uncovering unconscious biases, as well as the effects of privilege. Gildan executives were encouraged to leverage this to become more inclusive leaders and consider inclusion in all aspects of their roles and functions across the organization. Following the success of the series, the program was also launched for managers.
Partnership with Catalyst:
Gildan celebrates two years of partnership with Catalyst, a global non-profit organization helping to accelerate the advancement of women in the workforce.
Gildan’s partnership with Catalyst offers global employees an extensive spectrum of free resources such as virtual events, learning opportunities, research, social networking, webinars and newsletters on topics related to workplace inclusion.
In November 2018, Gildan welcomed Catalyst at their corporate headquarters for insightful lunch & learn sessions on intentional inclusion in the workplace.
Find out more about Catalyst here.
Celebrating Female Mentors on International Women’s Day:
On International Women’s Day, some of Gildan’s female leaders also shared their path to management roles with the support of great mentors and they continue to pay it forward. Their video was largely broadcast within the organization and on the web. Watch it here.
Earlier this year, Gildan launched the "Millennial Perspectives” series in its regional office in Rio Nance, Honduras to help millennial employees share their professional experiences with colleagues as well as personal accomplishments and passions. Employees from the manufacturing floor right through to executives were invited to attend the sessions. Through this series, Gildan aims to promote multigenerational exchange and reverse mentoring to enhance the performance of teams.
Women’s Leadership Speaker Series:
Starting in the fall of 2017, Gildan launched a women’s leadership series featuring inspirational and empowering stories shared by successful women. These sessions were designed to foster the development of employees and, more importantly, to emphasize women’s unique and important place in the workforce and in society. Close to 400 women participated in the training.
Read more about this initiative here.
American Apparel Sponsors Montreal’s Pride Festival:
Gildan’s American Apparel sponsored the Montreal Pride Festival for the first time in 2018. The Company invited employees in the Montreal area to participate in the ten day long festival and encouraged them to attend the parade in support of this event celebrating diverse and inclusive communities.
American Apparel’s “They O.K” Campaign:
In 2018, Gildan’s American Apparel launched an all-inclusive campaign “They O.K.”, modelled by real members of the LGBTQ+ community. All proceeds of this special pride capsule collection were donated to The Trevor Project, an organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ people under the age of 25 years old.
Explore the “They O.K.” campaign here.
Women’s Empowerment Program:
In September 2018, Gildan launched a new Women’s Empowerment Initiative in the Dominican Republic entitled "La Comunidad Emprende" or “The Community Startup”. Through a partnership with the Canadian Embassy and the Batey Relief Alliance, Gildan sought to empower over 180 young women and men in the communities in which it operates, providing training, guidance and support to pursue their own business. Moreover, the training placed a large focus on gender-based violence prevention.
Read more here.
Partnership with the Association of Quebec Women in Finance (AFFQ):
In early 2018, Gildan launched a partnership with the AFFQ, a dynamic network offering tools and development opportunities to further the career of women in finance but also various fields of business. Thanks to this partnership, a number of employees, both female and male, were offered free membership to the AFFQ, giving them access to a variety of developmental opportunities such as networking events, leadership development workshops and mentoring.
Find out more about the AFFQ here.
“Our commitment to Diversity & Inclusion is strong” says Tisseur. “This is a long-term strategy that will continue to evolve year after year, as we continue to grow.”